Health & Safety
Unifor honours New Brunswick pulp mill worker Marc Roussel
August 17, 2022 By Unifor
Unifor recognized New Brunswick pulp mill worker Marc Roussel with the 2022 Bud Jimmerfield award for his dedication to workplace health and safety. Director of Unifor’s Health and Safety department Sari Sairanen presented the award to the Unifor member at its Constitutional Convention in Toronto on August 10, 2022.
“Marc has twin daughters, seven years old, and he makes sure he goes home whole at the end of his workday, along with all of his members,” said Sairanen. “And that’s not an easy task. You’re bargaining daily with the employer and even with the regulator in ensuring workers’ rights are met in the workplace.”
In 2019, damaged asbestos was found in two places at Marc’s pulp mill, owned by AV Group. The employer hired a private contractor to remove it. However, when the contractor recommended a full enclosure be set up to safely abate the asbestos, the company pushed them to use a less expensive drop-sheet method, which would not prevent the spread of asbestos dust.
Concerned about this, the union called in a Worksafe New Brunswick Health and Safety Officer who inspected and ordered the employer to use a full enclosure.
Marc, as the co-chair of Local 219’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, makes it his business to know the Occupational Health and Safety Act and workers’ rights. He was willing to challenge the employer. The Local appealed the Compliance Officer’s ruling and Marc and the contractor testified at a hearing in November of 2020.
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