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Ruling puts armoured car workers and public at risk

March 06, 2017

Toronto - The extension of a stay against a previous Federal Ministry of Labour ruling puts the safety of armoured car workers and the general public at risk, Unifor says.

“The directives in the original order recognized that the use of two-person, all off crews elevates the danger of armoured car personnel being attacked in public, which also increases the risk to innocent by-standers,” said Mike Armstrong, Unifor National Staff Representative and lead on armoured car industry matters.

On December 29, 2016, the Federal Ministry of Labour ruled to support a work refusal by an armoured car worker who cited safety concerns associated with the “all off” model, where both the driver and the messenger exit the armoured car at drop-offs and pick-ups. Acknowledging the serious safety concern, the ruling ordered Brinks Canada Limited to immediately change from a two to three person crew to allow the driver to stay onboard to keep watch over his colleagues.

The December ruling also backed an earlier Federal Occupational Health and Safety Branch Investigation ruling into the “all off” model, employed by many companies in the armoured car industry. In its appeal of both orders, Brinks Canada Limited was granted a temporary stay against the order which was extended today.

“Two rulings both came to the same conclusion – this is a dangerous way to do business,” said Armstrong. “Yet Brinks Canada Limited seems determined to fight to stall implementation of three-person crews, a protocol that could literally save lives.”

Unifor, representing more than 1,500 armoured car personnel across Canada, has a long standing position on the importance and safety benefits of three-person crews. More than 85 armoured car robberies have taken place in Canada since 2000, resulting in five deaths and countless physical and mental injuries. Since 2013, each publicly-reported robbery has involved a two-person armoured guard crew, with many occurring in public spaces or near residential areas.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).