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HomeNewsFamilies demonstrate the human cost of dangers in the workplace

Families demonstrate the human cost of dangers in the workplace

Photo Courtesy: Natasha Luckhardt and Rob Viscards

Workers gather outside GE in Peterborough

Sandy Lebeau held a picture of her husband Ron, Cindy Crossley carried a photo of her dad, Ed Condon. The two, along with about 80 other widows, workers and family members took part in a solemn march around the General Electric plant on Friday to raise awareness of lives lost due to occupational disease and accidents in the workplace.

It was part of the National Day of Mourning for workers held On Friday April 28th. They held portraits of loved ones lost to remind the company and WSIB that there is a human face to the issue of danger and death in the workplace.

Sandy Lebeau’s husband died after working at GE for 20 years. He was only 39 years old.  Sandy is still fighting for compensation from the Workers Compensation Board decades later. “We have lost so many of our loved ones due to cancer that we just want GE to be cleaned up and to have protective wear to keep the new generation safe.”

Read more about Ron’s story here: http://www.vanmeerfreepress.com/widow-still-waiting-for-compensation-22-years-later/

Ed Condon died at 63 of an inoperable brain tumour after working at GE for his whole life. His daughter, Cindy Crossley says “Ed Condon was a man loved and respected deeply by his family and friends and he was taken too early due to his toxic work environment. Our family needs justice to help us come to peace with this unfair and life changing tragedy. Help us heal.”

Both men told their families that they suspected the chemicals would kill them but at that point, they figured the damage had been done to their bodies and they still had a family to feed.

Find out more about the chemicals they were exposed to here: http://www.vanmeerfreepress.com/health-coalition-connecting-the-dots-between-toxic-chemical-exposure-and-cancer-rates-at-ge/

The most recent statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada show  that in 2015, 852 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada. Among those dead were four young workers aged fifteen to nineteen years; and another eleven workers aged twenty to twenty-four years.

There were also 232,629 claims accepted for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease, including 8,155 from young workers aged fifteen to nineteen.

Read more about the workers exposed to chemicals at the GE plant in Peterborough here:http://www.vanmeerfreepress.com/information-sessions-held-for-ge-employees-exposed-to-toxic-chemicals/

The march outside the GE plant in Peterborough was organized by the Health Coalition along with two people who are producing a documentary about former GE workers called “Widows of Asbestos”

Natasha Luckhardt of Toronto and local filmmaker Rob Viscardis have been working on the documentary for months.

After the walk many joined the Day of Mourning ceremony hosted by Peterborough and District Labour Council at the Peterborough City Hall. The flag at City Hall was lowered to commemorate the day.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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