Your Right to Refuse; the system does work

October 23, 2017 - You may have seen any number of local news articles regarding the problem of aging elevator systems in the Greater Vancouver Area.

Unfortunately, the problem has been getting closer and closer to home for our members working at 3777 Kingsway. Finally, on October 5th 2017, six USW Local 1944 clerical members and two employees of other tenants in the building were trapped in an elevator at 3777 Kingsway for approximately one hour and twenty minutes. On October 6th 2017, one of those six USW Local 1944 members triggered his Right to Refuse unsafe work under Section 128 of Part II of the Canada Labour Code, setting numerous mechanisms into motion.

As of October 17th 2017, USW Local 1944 members working at 3777 Kingsway began receiving notification that building H&R Reit owners had officially agreed to fully refurbish the elevators in question. USW Local 1944 would like to thank both Telus and H&R Reit for working together to take immediate action to resolve the reported Right to Refuse under Code. As the work for the elevators may require up to three months for each individual elevator, USW Local 1944 also asks our members to be patient while this important issue is being resolved to ensure the safety of everybody in the building.

USW Local 1944 members are reminded to always report any and all safety incidents or hazards to their direct supervisor at a minimum. Further, request a specific HOIR (Hazardous occurrence investigation recording and reporting) number from your supervisor for confirmation that the incident is being tracked by the local Workplace Health and Safety Committee. If there is any need to report for clinical care, this will aid you in any conversations you may have with WorkSafeBC regarding your workplace injury.

In Solidarity, 

United Steelworkers Local 1944