MARYSTOWN, Nfld. (CP) - The Canadian Autoworkers Union has filed compensation claims for occupational disease on behalf of 15 cancer-stricken workers at the Marystown, Nfld. shipyard.
The claims submitted to the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission cover seven cases of lung cancer and eight of various gastrointestinal cancers blamed on exposure to asbestos in the workplace.
"There is no question in my mind that some of our members have suffered illness and even death as a result of their exposures to workplace chemicals over the years at the shipyard," CAW local president Henry Moores said Thursday.
"Most of those exposures happened under the ownership of the government of Newfoundland and it's time for the WHSCC to ensure that those workers or their surviving family members are fully compensated."
The shipyard opened in 1968, owned by a provincial Crown agency, Newfoundland
and Labrador Ocean Enterprises, and over the years the province provided the complex with $186 million in financial support.
It was sold for $1 in 1997 to Friede Goldman, which in turn sold it in 2002 to Peter Kiewit Sons Co.
In addition to the initial 15 claims, "other workers have come forward and their illnesses are being investigated for work-relatedness," the union stated, adding that dozens of toxic chemicals were used in the yards.