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Peterborough General Electric families launch social media campaign

March 1, 2018

A new social media campaign has been launched to draw attention to the stories of families who’ve lost loved ones to cancer acquired from working at the GE plant in Peterborough.

Lori Carl, the daughter of the late Art and Diane Carl, has launched the campaign called Families in Waiting that uses both Twitter and Instagram (see @loriinwaiting).

Art died nine years ago of cancer; he’d worked for GE for 42 years. Diane died in June after living with heart and lung disease.

Lori, who lives in Burlington and works in palliative and long-term care, is encouraging other families to tweet their stories too.

“Say, ‘This is what happened to us,'” she said.

A rash of cancer cases first emerged among former workers of GE in Peterborough in the 1990s. Although hundreds of claims were filed to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, many were rejected for lack of scientific evidence linking cancer to workplace toxins.

But some of the latest research does show how certain industrial chemicals cause cancer; one study was produced locally by a pair of retired occupational health therapists in cooperation with several former workers at GE. It was sponsored by Unifor, the union at the plant.

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The Peterborough and District Labour Council (PDLC) is the central body of union locals in the Peterborough area (Peterborough County plus Omemee) who are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

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