Eleven years ago in March 2007, three women— Armajit Kaur Bal, 52, Sukhvinder Kaur Punia, 46, and Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, 31—tragically lost their lives when a 15-passenger van carrying 17 women farm workers to work skidded out of control on the Trans-Canada Highway near Abbotsford, BC.
Multiple investigations revealed that the employer was at fault for this tragedy. The van was illegally overloaded, had only two seat belts, was riding on mismatched and bald tires, had a wooden bench in the back, a fraudulent safety permit and was driven by someone who did not have the proper license.
Every year since the tragedy, the BC Federation of Labour has organized a vigil on the first Saturday in March to honour the three women and to renew our commitment for healthier, safer workplaces.
This year’s vigil is set for Saturday, March 2 at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium at the Golden Tree Memorial sculpture commissioned to pay tribute to the three workers. Download an event poster here.