In several sectors of the transportation industry, fatigue lowers productivity, creates risks to public safety, and undermines workers’ health. The next federal government will need to set reliable, evidence-based rules that are not dictated by business.
Medical science is clear: long working hours lead to medical problems for workers, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cognitive disorders and early death. As well, working long hours far from family is detrimental to a healthy social life and comes at a high cost to communities.
Ottawa needs to recognize and address the havoc that long working hours can wreak on workers’ physical, mental and social health.
Health Canada should conduct a study quantifying the risks to health and society, and the resulting health care costs, of fatigue in the transportation industry.
Union representatives must play an active role in this vast undertaking to curb worker fatigue. Their input will provide us with a 360-degree view of an issue that adversely affects transportation workers’ daily lives, and will help us pull together for their well-being.
Teamsters Canada encourages its members to consult the electoral platforms of the political parties to find out their positions on the various campaign issues.