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Dropping of charges against Pike River CEO is disgraceful

Dropping of charges against Pike River CEO is disgraceful

It is disgraceful that charges against the former CEO of Pike River Coal have been dropped, says the union for miners, the EPMU.

Peter Whittall faced 12 charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act relating to the Pike River mine disaster, which killed 29 men. These charges were dropped today.

“It defies belief that Peter Whittall gets to walk away from the deaths of 29 miners scot-free,” says Ged O’Connell, EPMU assistant national secretary. “This shows we need corporate manslaughter laws to hold managers to account.”

The EPMU has consistently called for corporate manslaughter laws to ensure that when health and safety is ignored by negligent business owners, they are held accountable for their negligence.

“The Prime Minister says corporate manslaughter laws are off the table. While his government is increasing worker participation in health and safety, they’re also introducing laws which attack workers’ right to organise in unions and act collectively.

“Twenty-nine men died at Pike River because of a culture which persecuted the union and put profits ahead of safety.

“Peter Whittall should still be in court. The government should show it will hold business accountable when people are killed at work by introducing corporate manslaughter legislation and scrapping their anti-union laws.”


ENDS

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