Mine inspectors shortage
creates danger: Evoy

by Mark Sproxton
Northern News Services

NNSL (DEC 11/96) - A dangerous situation exists in the NWT with seven mine inspector jobs vacant, says the president of the NWT Federation of Labor.

"The workers have a right to be protected," said Jim Evoy. "If a disaster occurred, I would suggest the WCB and government would be liable for some heavy lawsuits."

The two top inspector positions and five others fall under the Workers' Compensation Board mandate with the transfer of Safety Services from the government earlier this year.

Rick Bargery, executive assistant to John Todd, Minister responsible for the WCB, said the vacant positions will soon be filled.

"We're looking at the whole organization since the transfer to the WCB," Bargery said. "They're planning on filling them early in the new year.

"We have no intention to leave them vacant."

Evoy wrote to Premier Don Morin asking him to fill the positions immediately.

And if they haven't already started hiring, that's worrisome because with Christmas coming it could be months before the positions are filled, Evoy said.