TORONTO, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The shooting earlier this morning in the Lawrence Heights area in Toronto during an attempted robbery on an armoured car underscores the need for improved safety regulations in the industry, argues Unifor.
The guard was shot several times while his Garda truck was pulled up to a TD Bank branch. The second guard of the two-person crew remained in the vehicle and was unharmed.
"Our thoughts are with the guard, his family as well as his crew partner, who undoubtedly is in a state of shock," said Mike Armstrong, Unifor national representative.
Unifor has been calling on federal lawmakers to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for the armoured car industry that enhances safety and prevents crime by establishing minimum standards in employee training, vehicle specifications and safety equipment requirements. The union's campaign also calls for minimum 3-person crew compliments for high-risk pick-ups, including when ATM bags are handled at night.
The use of smaller crew compliments (e.g. two-person crews) as well as un-armed crew members creates a far easier target for armed robbery and poses increasing risks to worker and public safety.
Representatives of Unifor met with Director General of Policing Policy Mark Potter, from the office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on June 5 over the union's concerns about safety within the industry. The union continues to press federal Minister of Public Safety Steven Blaney to initiate a multi-stakeholder taskforce to undertake a more thorough examination of safety issues in the industry.
Since 2000, there have been more than 70 attacks on armoured cars in Canada, with four in the past year including the incident that occurred this morning.
Unifor represents 305,000 members across the country, including 2,000 members in the armoured car and secure logistics industry, employed largely by Brinks and Garda.
For a copy of Unifor's review of the armoured car industry and complete recommendations to improve its safety, go to www. unifor.org/safecargo.