The union's comments came on Workers' Memorial Day, 28 April, which saw the biggest ever list of commemorative events in the UK and worldwide. RMT said that Britain's new corporate manslaughter law still lets killer bosses off the hook - and that unions remain workers' best friend.
'After the Southall, Ladbroke Grove, Hatfield and Potters Bar rail crashes that killed 49, 20 years after the Piper Alpha rig disaster saw 167 workers die, five years after four of our members were killed by a runaway trolley at Tebay, profit is still being put ahead of safety,' RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.
'The trade union movement has fought for years for a corporate manslaughter law that would finally make individual bosses shoulder responsibility for the needless deaths their negligence causes,' he said, but added the law 'will not deliver justice because it won't put killer bosses in the dock, and slapping fines on corporations is simply not enough.'
The union leader concluded: 'The message has to be: if you want to be safer at work, join the union and fight alongside your workmates to make your boss take safety seriously.'
Unite called for more rights for union health and safety representatives to maximise this union safety effect. Health and safety officer Rob Miguel said the high injury rates on construction sites showed 'we need greater powers for union health and safety representatives to inspect these sites. Increasing their power means reducing the chances of injuries and fatalities in the future.'
Workers' Memorial Day