On April 28, European Trade unions will commemorate International Workers’ Memorial Day – remembering the 150,000 people who have died in the EU from occupational cancers since the European Commission suspended work on legislation protecting workers from chemicals that cause cancer.
Every year 100,000 people in the EU die from occupational cancers.
In October 2013 the European Commission stopped developing exposure limits for chemicals that cause cancer because it is reviewing ‘red tape’ – with the result that only 3 cancer-causing chemicals have European exposure limits!
Now the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is demanding
- Legally enforceable exposure limits for the for a priority list of the 50 most toxic chemicals for causing cancer, and for male and female fertility.
- Progress on the revision of the Directive on Carcinogens and Mutagens at work to expand the number of chemicals with binding exposure limits
“Measures to protect workers from cancer and fertility difficulties, are being treated as ‘red tape’ and a so-called ‘unnecessary burden’ on industry” said Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation. “It is shameful.”
“I am all in favour of ‘better regulation’ but this is treating human life like another line in the balance sheet, like the cost of raw materials or energy. The ETUC is calling on the European Commission agree legally binding exposure limits for 50 of the most harmful chemicals.”
“The Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans recently said that better regulation does not mean deregulation and lowering standards* so I hope he is willing to take action to protect workers from cancer.”
To mark International Workers’ Memorial Day on April 28:
- ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol will be in the European Parliament in Strasbourg to meet President Schulz and European Employment Commissioner Thyssen amongst others
- ETUC and Belgian trade unions will be at the entrance of the European Commission’s Berlaymont HQ in Brussels at 12.30, following an 11.00 meeting with Belgian Vice Prime Minister Kris Peeters.
- ETUC Deputy General Secretary Józef Niemiec will meet the Latvian EU Presidency with Latvian trade unions and European trade union health and safety experts at a health and safety conference in Riga.
For more information see: http://www.etuc.org/international-workers-memorial-day-28-april-2015 & http://28april.org/
Des centaines de syndicats, ensemble avec des associations de victimes, de chercheurs et des élus organiseront des événements partout dans le monde pour ce mardi 28 avril, commémorant les victimes d’accidents et des maladies professionnelles. Vous pouvez consulter la liste d’événements planifiés sur le site www.28april.org N’hésitez pas à nous signaler si le vôtre n’apparaît pas!
Cientos de sindicatos, acompañados de investigadores y asociaciones de interés público organizaran eventos el martes próximo, 28 de Abril para conmemorar a los trabajadores que han fallecido o se han enfermado por culpa de su trabajo. Puede ver la lista de eventos en el sitio web www.28april.org . Infórmenos si su evento no está en la lista!
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On this day, European trade unionists commemorate the 100,000 colleagues and friends, fathers, mothers, daughters and sons killed every year in the EU by cancers – caused at work – which are entirely preventable.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) condemns the European Commission for delaying since October 2013 the adoption of legally binding exposure limits for chemicals that cause cancer, or are toxic for male and female fertility and the unborn child, because it is conducting a review of ‘red tape’. It means that 150,000 have died while EC evaluates ‘better regulation’.
The ETUC does not believe that the European Commission so lacks humanity that measures to protect people from cancer, people from fertility difficulties, or babies in the womb from toxic chemicals, could be considered a cost to business which needs to be reduced to improve competitiveness; that human life could be just another line in the balance sheet alongside the cost of raw materials, transport and energy.
The ETUC demands legally enforceable exposure limits for a priority list of 50 of the most harmful chemicals as a first step.
We call on the European Commission to unblock the revision of the Directive on Carcinogens or Mutagens at work and include substances that are toxic for reproduction.
To mark this memorial Day, on April the 28th ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol will be in the European Parliament in Strasbourg to bring International Workers’ Memorial Day to the attention of MEPs, and has meetings scheduled with Parliament President Martin Schulz and European Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen. ETUC Deputy General Secretary Józef Niemiec will speak at a Latvian Presidency conference in Riga on health and safety. The ETUC and Belgian trade unions also plan a commemoration outside the European Commission’s Berlaymont HQ in Brussels.
ETUC 28 April webpages
The artwork below will be used at these events.
The global transport unions’ federation ITF is backing the ITUC theme for 28 April, removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. It will be integrating this into ongoing campaigns on container safety for dockers, truckers, seafarers, railway workers, warehouse workers – essentially along the entire supply chain. Toxic gases and fumigation in containers is one of the areas of campaigning as are container weights, packing, loading etc.
ITF is asking its affiliated unions to get involved on 28 April by, among other things, raising awareness about the issue of toxic gas and fumigation in containers with their members. It says “this is an increasingly important topic for us given the tragedy in the port of Antwerp.” Three experienced dockworkers died on Saturday 11 April in Antwerp, Belgium, after entering a ship’s hold to unload coal. ITF president and chair of its dockers’ section, Paddy Crumlin, said: “Dock work is dangerous work and everyone involved must always do everything possible to minimise the risks. This is a timely reminder of the importance of Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April (28april.org), whose message is ‘Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living’.”
For this 28th April, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) will run a highly visible action, focusing on the 100,000 people who die every year in the EU as a result of occupational cancers, as well as the 150,000 people who have died waiting for the EU to approve the Directive on Carcinogens and Mutagens at Work, held up since October 2013 by an EU review of ‘red tape’.
To mark the International Workers’ Memorial Day, the ETUC is planning to meet with Commissioners and MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and will participate in events in Belgium and Latvia.
ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Ségol will meet European Parliament President Martin Schulz and European Employment Commissioner Thyssen in the European Parliament in Strasbourg .
ETUC 28 April webpages
The artwork below will be used at these events.