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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: International | San Francisco | Labor & Workers
Canadian USW Rail Workers Harding & Labrie Are Not Guilty! Drop The Charges NOW! SF Rally
Defenders of Canadian USW railroad workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie protested at the San Francisco Canadian consulate to demand that the government drop the charges against these two workers. They were blamed for the Lac-Mégantic train wreck despite the massive cutbacks in staffing and railroad safety rules by the companies and government deregulation
A solidarity rally was held at the San Francisco Canadian Consulate on January 4, 2018 to demand that charges be dropped against MMA USW union railroad workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie for the deaths of 47 people in the Lac-Mégantic train wreck. The highly flammable cargo on the train cars was only manned by one worker and the evidence at the trial has shown that there were not proper safety measures in place. The company and the Canadian government according to speakers is now scapegoating the workers. The Canadian government liked the US government has pushed deregulation and 1 person crews being pushed by the rail owners and the speakers charged this was the real reason for this and other disasters.
There were also support actions on in Chicago, Seattle, DC and in Sao Paulo, Brazil at Canadian consulates and embassies.
The speakers also discussed the growing rail wrecks and dangerous transportation system in the United States and this was connected to similar efforts to downsize the staffing of the trains and deregulation. Speakers included trade unionists from SMART Local 1741 SF Bus Drivers, SEIU 1021 Social And Economic Justice Committee and members of Railroad Workers United RWU and Workers Solidarity Action Network WSAN. Environmental activists also attended and spoke.
For further information on the case:
Harding Defense Committee
Railroad Workers United
Workers Solidarity Action Network
Production of Labor Video Project
Workers and environmentalists demanding the dropping of charges against Canadian railroad workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie.
A protest letter was delivered to the Canadian consulate in San Francisco to demand that the charges be dropped against Canadian railway workers.
The Canadian government like the US government supports deregulation of the railways resulting in deadly wrecks and the murder of rail workers and members of the community.
Participants at the solidarity rally for Harding and Labrie called for the railroad owners and bosses to be put on trial for the railroad wreck.
Retired railroad unionist Brian Lewis talked about the increasingly dangerous conditions on the railways and the elimination of jobs to increase the profits of the bosses.
Co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America Al Rojas who is now with Sacramento LCLAA spoke about the need to protect health and safety of railroad workers and farmworkers.
SMART Local 1741 SF School Bus Drivers local chair Felson spoke in solidarity with the two framed up railway workers in Canada. She also mentioned the need to protect the health and safety of the busses.