Keeping H&S a Priority in Changing Times

May 7, 2010

More than 150 Manitoba Federation of Labour affiliated delegates and facilitators participated in the 29th Annual MFL Health and Safety Conference in Winnipeg. They spent two days focusing on this year’s theme, ‘Health and Safety – In the Path of Change.’

The global economy and the series of crises that have plagued it since 2008, have changed the character and needs in workplaces around the world. Trade union health and safety activists need the skills to respond to those changes to make sure the health and safety of workers is always at the top of the agenda.

MFL President Kevin Rebeck (left) opened and closed the conference, reminding delegates that the topics they focus on at the conference set the stage to support one of the main reasons that workers form or join unions.

“To make sure that when they go to work, they also go home to their family and friends at the end of the day healthy and in one piece”, said Rebeck.

“The issues you’ll discuss and learn about form the core of health and safety in the workplace – the things you say and do will become part of labour culture in Manitoba and will be an important part of the message that we communicate to government, to employers and last, but certainly not least, to the general public.”

The workshops were designed to explore and challenge the delegates’ commitment to a safe work environment and focused on the elements that collectively form the basis for workplace safety and health and the environment.

United Steelworker National Health and Safety and Environment Co-ordinator Andy King (right) delivered the closing plenary keynote address, outlining the challenges that are still being fought by union women and men and the new ones that are constantly emerging.