LAVAL, Que.–The Teamsters Union has commented on the press conference held by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) to present its report on the Lac-Mégantic disaster.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference represents most of the workers employed by the major rail companies and local interest railways. These workers namely operate freight and commuter trains and maintain the tracks.
“The government agency’s conclusions appear logical and make plain common sense,” the union stated in a release.
“TSB representatives explained that a total of 18 factors led to the derailment. It was caused by several factors which, among other things, included the employer’s safety deficiencies. It also appears that Transport Canada was unable to adequately track the railway’s operations.
In fact, this report echoes the one previously released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in that it indirectly points the finger at the self-regulation. By its very nature, this aberration—which is currently the standard in the industry—jeopardizes the safety of the general public and workers alike,” said the union.
“A radical change of philosophy must be implemented without further delay. Transparency and accountability must take precedence starting with full public disclosure of the Railroads self regulated Safety Managements System (SMS). And, in addition, full public disclosure of Government Safety Audits and the resultant response of the Railroad to address any noted deficiencies” says Rex Beatty, President of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference,” the union said.
The Teamsters represents 115,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.