Kill a Worker, Go to Jail

CUPE NB commends the recent legal decision to hold negligent employers accountable for their actions. The sentencing of Jason King to three years in prison for criminal negligence resulting in the tragic death of Michael Henderson sends a clear message that workplace safety cannot be compromised.

This ruling is a significant step towards ensuring proper protection for workers and upholding their rights. Justice Thomas Christie emphasized the importance of deterrence and denunciation in his decision, emphasizing that criminal acts in the workplace will not go unpunished. We believe that such consequences for employers who neglect their responsibilities are long overdue.

We stand with the family of Michael Henderson and admire their courage throughout this challenging process. We also want to acknowledge the support from various labour unions in advocating for safer workplaces. As we move forward, we hope this case sets a precedent for companies to prioritize health and safety, recognizing that the well-being of workers is paramount.

“Workers have the legal right to safety at work and to return home to their family after their shift is finished. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe work environment for their workers. Worker’s safety must be the highest law,” said Stephen Drost, President of CUPE NB.

This decision reinforces the obligation of employers to adhere to workplace safety standards, ensuring that tragedies like this one never happen again. Springhill Construction Ltd. has been charged alongside Jason King, and the company’s trial is scheduled for January 8, 2024. We look forward to the upcoming trial and hope that justice will be served.

It is hoped that the judge presiding over the matter will recognize that companies also have a responsibility to their employees and supervisors, and they cannot place all the blame on subordinates when health and safety protocols are not followed in the workplace.