Use of replacement workers leads to injuries, accidents, NAPE says

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Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees president Carol Furlong. — Telegram File photo

The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) says the use of replacement workers during a strike at the Labatt Brewery Co. plant in St. John’s is contributing to workplace injuries and accidents.

“There are reports of workplace injuries, accidents, and potential violations of the province’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation involving replacement workers at the Labatt plant,” NAPE President Carol Furlong said in a news release. “We have a situation at the plant where ill-trained and inexperienced workers are crossing a picket line to operate complex equipment and deal with potentially dangerous chemicals and caustic materials. This is a recipe for disaster.”

Furlong said, in the past few days, NAPE has become aware of a serious injury sustained by a replacement worker while on the assembly line as well as a chemical spill of a caustic substance outside the building. “These incidents support our call for the government to enact anti-scab legislation,” Furlong said.

 The plant has been operated by replacement workers since unionized workers there began a strike on April 10 of this year.

Organizations: Labatt, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees

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Recent comments

  • Brad
    July 17, 2013 - 17:07

    You mad bro? I bet you're just an insecure punk who's jealous that many others are doing better than you. You really don't own a business and live in mommy and daddy's basement. Otherwise, put your money where your mouth is, pull up your big boy pants, and name what business you own and run.

  • roy
    July 17, 2013 - 15:27

    Sick and tired of unions, sick of hearing Furlong, sick of her campaign against govt. I will buy labatts products or any product I like. I would believe the company before I would believe Furlong. Let the workers deal with the company, if they expect support from the public then they are out of luck. I,m sure the unions dont't care how I and many more are doing with the cost of living increasing daily

  • Ed Power
    July 17, 2013 - 14:57

    Thank you, "Another Businessman" for making the need for strong unions and stringent regulations clear to anyone with a functioning brain. "Workers make too much money as it is and the unions make things worse complaining about outdated health and safety regulations and making it more difficult for businessmen like me to make a decent profit." I couldn't have made a stronger pro-union argument myself. And then there's Robb. Poor - ill-informed or willingly ignorant, Robb - who harbours the illusion that "Right to Work" legislation would somehow result in the creation of a workplace paradise, and I guess it would, if you were the owner or operator of a business or corporate entity. If Robb - assuming he is a real person, and not someone involved in the current labour dispute who sits on the management side of the table - did any actual research on this legislation, he would understand that this concept is the brainchild of corporate interests in the United States that has been heavily promoted by the Republican party, Wal Mart, Target, the infamous Koch brothers (creators of the Tea Party) and the brewers of his new favourite beer, the ultra right wing Coors family. The Coors family has a long history in anti-labour activities, funds the "National Right to Work Committee" - an anti-worker group which is out to destroy unions - and has, on a number of occasion, blocked OSHA inspectors from investigating workplace hazards which led to the deaths of Coors employees; funnels million of dollars annually to various right wing organizations such as neo Nazis groups and the KKK - who were allowed by Adolph Coors to stage cross burnings and meetings on brewery properties; funds right wing fundamentalist Christian Dominionist groups in the USA who seek to replace democratic pluralism with a theocratic form of government; and is one of the largest producers - and dumpers - of toxic waste in Colorado. Yes, Robb, I can certainly see why you are dreaming of the day when you will have the "Right to Work" longer hours in a hazardous workplace for less pay, and with no benefits or pension plan. By all means, go and enjoy your new favourite beer, and don't concern yourself as to where your beer money goes - or what the Coors family will do with it. Take comfort in the knowledge that the Heritage Foundation - created by Joe Coors - is busy spending your beer money funding efforts to abolish civil rights laws, minimum wage laws, environmental laws, affirmative action programs and the US public education system. Drink up!

  • Beer Belly
    July 17, 2013 - 14:18

    Greedy union employees on strike is a perfect reason for me and many others to guzzle back the Labatt's beer; I've even switched to it and drink twice as much since the strike started.

  • Scabby mcSnivells
    July 17, 2013 - 13:20

    I agree with Robb and Townie. I would also negotiate with their bosses to take their jobs for a lower wage. What? they're going to complain to some union??? Riiight!

  • Mike
    July 17, 2013 - 12:28

    if the union had any real case for their demands they would release them in public.......and yet they have not.

  • original townie
    July 17, 2013 - 12:07

    Carol....have you not learned anything from the ten month strike at the airport? The planes still flew and the beer is still being brewed, without your so called professional workers. One the same period (say three months) what were the stats on injuries, spills et el while NAPE workers were on the line? In fairness you should provide comparables, not just one sided information which unions are known for. Maybe the "scab" employees have a better track record?

  • Robb
    July 17, 2013 - 12:04

    This is just so disgusting to look at....I will post here exactly what I put on VOCM's site: If a union person told me it was raining, I would have to go outside and feel the rain on me before I would believe a word.....what a bunch of crackpots....just shows that the gov't should enact the "Right to work" legislation and remove these union warts from our backsides. I have actually switched to Labatts Lite (from Coors Light), and I am finding it to be a wonderful drink of beer, way better than when the union warts were making it. And don't even try to defend these union creeps...they are as low as anyone could go, but cry when nobody cares. I have been in unions and witnessed the low life crap with my own eyes, so if you think any of my comment is unfounded, then you are too entrenched in the union clan and don't care for anything but the reminds me of those stupid advertisements one of the unions had there a few years ago..."this is who we are, this is what we do"...what a load...they would not lift a finger unless it involved the biggest kind of money, so don't think any of them are doing anything for you anytime....unless the big pay and benefits are attached, they would do nothing, as evident by this and many other strikes. To the replacement workers, good on you and keep your families fed, as you know the union warts would take the scrap of food right out of your child's mouth.

  • another businessman
    July 17, 2013 - 11:53

    This wouldn’t happen if the striking workers put down their signs and went back to work without making demands from their employer. The replacement workers are happy to do a job that needs doing and take responsibility for their own injuries. Workers make too much money as it is and the unions make things worse complaining about outdated health and safety regulations and making is more difficult for businessmen like me to make a decent profit. Its time there were laws banning unions so that employers are free to deal with workers on their own terms.

    • Joe
      July 17, 2013 - 18:59

      If people would just buy more things on-line we wouldn't have any need for businesses in St. John's. And while on holidays on the mainland save on shipping and buy things to bring back. Also by saving your money and not buying anything you reduce the need for businesses even more. It works for me.