It’s been several months since he was tragically taken away from his friends and family but if it’s up to Aaron Nagy, his death won’t be in vain.
Yorkton resident and long time friend of Jimmy Wiebe who was murdered while working at the Shell station on Smith Street June 20, Nagy has been pressing government for a law change that would protect Saskatchewan workers working alone in similar circumstances.
Nagy is proposing a law (Jimmy’s Law) that would require at least two people to be on during a shift, or some type of measure to ensure an employee has access to help at all times to ensure safety.
His most recent action taken was a meeting with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) whose members showed overwhelming support for what Nagy is doing.
Following his moving presentation, delegates attending the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour’s annual Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Conference where Nagy spoke recently, have offered their support for Jimmy’s Law. Touched by tales of Jimmy’s life, as well as an explanation of his tragic murder at work, delegates signed petitions calling for the immediate introduction of Jimmy’s Law into the provincial legislature.
“The nearly two hundred delegates attending our OH&S Conference were saddened to hear of Jimmy Wiebe’s murder at work,” comments Larry Hubich, President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour.
“Unfortunately, like so many people who work alone, Jimmy Wiebe was left vulnerable to violence that could have been easily prevented. It’s time for Saskatchewan to adopt legislation similar to that in British Columbia, which protects people that work alone with the public.”
B.C.’s Grant’s Law, named after Grant De Patie who was killed while at work at a gas station in Maple Ridge, requires employers to schedule at least two employees together between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., or to provide protective barriers between lone employees and the public. Though there have been concerns raised about levels of enforcement of Grant’s Law, the law has meant that those that work alone in B.C. are generally better protected than their Saskatchewan counterparts.
“A successful model for Jimmy’s Law already exists in Western Canada, and the vast majority of delegates to our OH&S Conference believe that it is time for Saskatchewan to do the right thing and bring in legislation to protect the many working people in our province who work alone.”
Nagy says he won’t give up until change occurs.
After an upcoming October meeting of the SFL he says a full-fledged government lobbying initiative will take place.
“Nobody should die at work and we need to take some safety precautions... whether that be two people at working at any given time, or something to protect them... there’s a lot of money that goes through a gas station and we have to keep workers safe...”
And it’s not just situation’s like Jimmy’s where a worker may need assistance points out Nagy. “If you choke, or have a heart attack or suffer a stroke, if there’s nobody working with you, there may be no way to get help. If I’m choking, how can I call 911 myself? There are all kinds of jobs that have hazards...”
Nagy says he’s very optimistic something can and will be done.
“I think that we’ve taken a huge, huge step with the SFL lending support. They have 98,000 members... so my one voice now became 98,000 voices...”
You too can support Jimmy’s Law.
“If you have Facebook you can visit: www.facebook.com/jimmyslaw. There is also an online petition circulating at: ipetitions.com/petition/jimmyslaw.
To date there are 1,300 members on the Facebook page, about 900 signatures on the ipetition and roughly 4,000 signatures on paper.
“Jimmy was a friend. I knew him since I was knee high to a grasshopper so I’m going to be standing up for Jimmy because he can’t stand up for himself and he deserves the best.”