Unifor calls for armoured car safety meeting

Jan 23, 2014, 09:46 ET from Unifor

TORONTO, Jan. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor is calling for an immediate meeting with Canada's public safety minister to review the patchwork of regulations in the armoured car industry, following this week's shootout and robbery of an armoured car in Toronto.

"In light of the recent robbery of a two-person crew that took place in Toronto on January 20, you will appreciate my urgency in setting up this meeting with you," Unifor National President Jerry Dias wrote in letter to Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney yesterday.

Several shots were fired at about 10:30pm Monday night when an armoured car crew was robbed at gunpoint outside Toronto's Fairview Mall. Bags of cash and shell casings were reported scattered around the armoured car, which had a bullet hole in its windshield. The getaway vehicle was abandoned on a nearby residential street, near an elementary school.

The incident points to the dangers faced by workers in the industry and the public, and highlights the need for minimum employee training, vehicle specifications, crew compliments and safety equipment.

Dias has called for a task force on the armoured car industry to undertake comprehensive policy research, gather stakeholders' views and develop recommendations and legislative guidance, and to meet with Unifor representatives on the issue.

For a copy of Unifor's review of the armoured car industry and complete recommendations to improve its safety, go to http://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/keep-workers-safe-their-cargo.

Unifor, which represents 2,000 workers in the armoured car industry, was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 with the merger of the Canadian Autoworkers with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union. With more than 300,000 members, it is Canada's largest union in the private sector.