../Morning Post
Posted November 16, 2009

Turn corporate social responsibility into accountability: Steelworkers to ask MPs to support Bill C-300

OTTAWA - United Steelworkers' (USW) National Director Ken Neumann announced Friday that unionized miners from across Canada will be in Ottawa from November 16-20 urging Members of Parliament to support Bill C-300, a private member's bill on corporate accountability for Canadian extractive companies in developing countries.

The week includes a November 19th presentation to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development by Stephen Hunt, the USW's senior elected official in Western Canada. Hunt comes from the mining sector, has worked with workers employed by Canadian companies in developing countries and done extensive consultation on health and safety and other work-related issues in Canada.

"Our members in the mining sector have first-hand knowledge of the huge disparity between the corporate behaviour of Canadian companies at home and their corporate behaviour abroad," said Neumann. "We believe Bill C-300 takes an important step toward corporate accountability, which means there are real consequences for companies that do not comply with international human rights, labour and environmental standards.

"Voluntary self-regulation is not accountability for corporate social responsibility," said Neumann. "Canadian taxpayers provide generous support through Export Development Canada financing and insurance. They deserve the kind of accountability that Bill C-300 provides."

The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than 250,000 men and women working in every sector of the economy.

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