February 2018 Report
The Unifor Local 199 Health and Safety Committee has exchanged contact information and are communicating informally in person in-plant and electronically. We have been contacted by a few of the units and have been able to provide research support and advice for their issues, and we are happy to do so.
At the GM Master Health and Safety Committee meeting in January, I pointed out to the company that as anyone at a GM site who is not a GM employee is considered a contractor, statistically contractors are now involved in the majority of safety incidents throughout the corporation. We are told that contactors are expected to follow their company’s safety policies, which are to be equal to or better than GM’s safety performance standards, and that these requirements are agreed to at the corporate level. What we witness on the floor is often entirely different, especially when transient contractors are used for short term project work and Buddy comes in with the 12′ lanyard he used on his last roofing job, as happened recently in Oshawa.
Through the Master Committee I proposed the creation of a site Master Health and Safety Committee consisting of the co-chairs from each company’s JHSC that regularly works at our site. Each company is supposed to have a JHSC but we currently work in silos, independent of each other. There is no legal requirement for such a committee so it will likely have to be achieved during the next round of GM bargaining. If the company is truly committed to their goal of zero health and safety incidents on their sites for not only their employees but for contractors as well, then this proposal should receive some serious consideration.
Unifor Local 199 GM Unit
Worker Health and Safety Rep
Office: 905 641 6420
Cell: 905 658 3271