April 28, 2022
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB –On the National Day of Mourning, NDP Leader Wab Kinew introduced a bill to restore the 1-1 apprenticeship ratio for workers training on the job.
“Manitoba families want to know their child or loved one is safe when they begin their on-the-job training as an apprentice in the trades,” said Kinew. “But after the PCs changed the ratio, that’s no longer the case. We need to grow our skilled workforce but we have to do it in a way that is safe so we can protect young workers and set them up for a successful career. Manitobans entering the trades should have full confidence that the standards for safety and learning are the highest they can be.”
In 2006 the NDP government established a new rule that made 1-1 apprenticeship ratios mandatory in the trades. The move was applauded by workplace safety advocates and families. In 2020 the PCs reversed the NDP regulation, changing the requirement to 2-1. In 2021, 26 workers died in workplace accidents.
Cindy Skanderbeg, whose son Michael was electrocuted on the job as an electrician’s helper in 1999, put her full support behind Kinew’s bill saying the legislation would signal “a return to caring.” She believes restoring the 1-1 legislation would save lives and ensure “there are no more stories like Michael’s.”