04/28/2014 01:21 EDT | Updated 06/28/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. Fed seeks jail for negligent employers as Canada remembers fallen workers

VANCOUVER - A powerful labour organization in British Columbia is demanding jail time for employers if their negligence causes the death of a worker.

The call from B.C. Federation of Labour secretary-treasurer Irene Lanzinger comes as workers across the country take part in ceremonies to remember those lost in work-related incidents or to occupational diseases.

Lanzinger says the federation believes employers in several cases have been negligent but have not faced criminal prosecution, or have received what she terms a slap on the wrist.

She says fines are not a deterrent because large companies can simply absorb a monetary penalty.

April 28 has been declared a national Day of Mourning, with the main event in British Columbia taking place at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver.

The B.C. Federation of Labour says 128 people suffered job-related deaths in this province in 2013. (CHNL)