TCRC member dies after mishap at Oakville Ford Plant
Source: Teamsters
Published: January 15th 2010

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference mourns for the loss of a 42-year old member in Hamilton…

Laval, January 15, 2010 – 42-year-old Brother Michael Chiarelli of Hamilton was fatally injured while switching at a Ford Motor Company plant in Oakville on Monday January 11, around 5:00 p.m.

Brother Chiarelli, a member of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) Division 70 (Toronto), is married with three children and employed as a Conductor by the Canadian National Railway for 20 years. He has always been well respected by his co–workers.

Transport Canada is currently investigating, and TCRC Division 70 representatives have met with CN officials as well as the other crew members who were not physically injured in the incident. Also, crisis counselors have met with crew members and other workers.

“Our collective thoughts, prayers and support are with them during this difficult time,” said Daniel J. Shewchuk, TCRC president. “We all mourn for the loss of our union Brother and express our deepest and sincerest condolences to his family who have lost a husband, father, brother and son.”

Railroad workers are at risk to the inherent dangers of switching operations, particularly within a plant where clearances are significantly reduced. “This fatality reminds us once again of the importance of always emphasizing safety, and worker safety must be the priority in all work environments,” added Shewchuk. “Productivity must never supplant safety as the primary focus within an industrial setting.”

The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.