Court should throw the book at Pike River Coal

Press Release – Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union

The EPMU has welcomed the Greymouth District Courts decision to find Pike River Coal Ltd guilty of serious health and safety breaches and is calling for the sentencing judge to impose the maximum penalty.April 18, 2013
Media Release

Court should throw the book at Pike River Coal

The EPMU has welcomed the Greymouth District Court’s decision to find Pike River Coal Ltd guilty of serious health and safety breaches and is calling for the sentencing judge to impose the maximum penalty.
EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell says the sentencing judge should throw the book at Pike River Coal.

“It’s a matter of public record that the people running Pike River Coal put production over the safety of their workforce, leading directly to the deaths of 29 men.

“This is the most serious breach of our workplace health and safety laws in at least a generation and the sentence must reflect the gravity of the crime. We would expect to see no less than the maximum fine levelled, as well as reparations for the families of the 29 miners.”

Mr O’Connell says the case also shows the need for changes to the law.

“The reality is Pike River Coal is now little more than a shell company that’s now in receivership. The accountability must lie with the directors and management who actually made the decisions.

“Pike River Coal’s directors should not be able to hide behind shabby legal structures and carry on as if nothing ever happened. It’s time we had corporate manslaughter laws and personal liability for directors so we can hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

“New Zealand’s miners and their families also need to see the recommendations of the Pike River Royal Commission implemented as soon as possible and we encourage the Government to carry on its good work putting this into action.”

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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