Category Archives: News

Global: If you expose us, we’ll expose you

Imagine a killer that strikes more than once every minute. Most of these deaths could be stopped with minimal effort, but preventive measures are being blocked. Well, warns ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow, that killer is occupational cancer and a mixture of toxic marketing and regulatory failure has already condemned another generation to an early grave. Read more

Europe: International Workers’ Memorial Day – 28 April 2015

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.

etuc1 etuc2 etuc3

Tragedy reinforces ITF’s resolve to tackle hazardous substances across the transport sector

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 (, whose message is ‘Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living’.”

Twitter: @itfglobalunion

Europe: Unions say STOP treating protection from hazardous chemicals as “red tape”

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.

etuc1 etuc2 etuc3

Unions do not forget Rana Plaza and fight for new rights in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi unions will mobilise this year with a week of events, which will include meetings on compensation and rehabilitation for Rana Plaza victim workers, a commemoration of the tragedy on April 24th both with OSHE as a lead organiser, a tripartite seminar on the 26th and a joint demonstration of the National Labour Rights and Safety Alliance on the 28th April.

The demo will be calling for immediate ratification of key ILO Conventions on OSH by Bangladesh namely C187 (Promotional Framework for OSH Convention, 2006), C155 (Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981) and C167 (Safety and Health in Construction).

The demo is a joint endeavour by the Bangladesh Free Trade Unions Congress (BFTUC), the National Alliance of Construction Workers Safety, Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), Federation of Garments Workers (FGW), Bangladesh Building and Workers Federation (BBWWF), Labour at Informal Economy (LIE), Rana Plaza Accident Victims Network and Tazreen Fashions Accident Victim Network.

The video “Growth with Tears“ has been produced on the struggle of Rana Plaza victims:

The Bangladesh Labour Federation -BLF will Observe 28 ICD 2015 in Dhaka organising a discussion meeting on 28 April 3.30 PM. BLF President & General Secretary & BLF Members ,activists, organisers, educators as well as the women’s & youth wings will be present in the event.

For more information on BFTUC activities for this 28th April, please contact with AR Chowdhury REPON, Acting General Secretary- BFTUC & Executive Director- OSHE, E-mail:

For more information on BLF events, please contact M.Shahadat Hossain

Finally, we also wanted to remind you of the Rana Plaza countdown for victims’ compensation, which has been organised in social media:


Trabajo tóxico: La CSI publica informe para el 28 de Abril

itucreportesLes presentamos un informe de la CSI que explica por qué los sindicatos debemos movilizarnos para proteger a los trabajadores y trabajadoras de las sustancias peligrosas, con datos y cifras claves.

Este documento ha sido preparado para apoyar los esfuerzos de movilización sindical para la Jornada Mundial de conmemoración de los trabajadores muertos y heridos, este 28 de Abril, que busca este año destacar la necesidad de eliminar la exposición a las sustancias peligrosas.

Trabajo tóxico: La CSI publica informe para el 28 de Abril • PDF

Travail toxique: la CSI publie un rapport pour le 28 avril

itucreportfrNous vous présentons une note de synthèse de la CSI qui introduit les raisons pour lesquelles le mouvement syndical doit se mobiliser pour protéger les travailleurs et travailleuses des substances dangereuses, avec des données et chiffres clés.

Ce rapport a été produit pour soutenir les efforts de mobilisation syndicale autour de la Journée Internationale de Commémoration des Travailleurs Décédés et Blessés, le 28 avril, que cette année met l’accent sur l’exposition aux substances dangereuses.

Travail toxique: la CSI publie un rapport pour le 28 avril • PDF

Toxic work: Stop deadly exposures today! – New 28 April guide from ITUC

itucreportenAn ITUC Briefing explaining why trade unions must mobilise for protecting workers from hazardous substances, with key facts and figures.

This Briefing has been prepared to support trade unions’ mobilisation for the International Day of Commemoration of Dead and Injured Workers, on 28th April, which is focusing this year on the need for removing exposure to hazardous substances.

Toxic work: Stop deadly exposures today! • PDF

ITUC 28 April update

For more information on 28th April, International Day for Dead and Injured workers:

28 April on Facebook!

Tweet about 28 April with the #iwmd15 hashtag!

Please send information on your event to

THEME this year: ‘Removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace

For more information on ITUC work on health and safety, visit

COMING SOON: Spain, Argentina, ETUC, TUCA, Finland, Bermuda, Belgium, Venezuela, Croatia … Send yours!!!

28 de abril 2015 – envíenos sus actividades! Quedan 28 dias !

Estimados colegas,

Estamos ultimando los detalles para las acciones, materiales y comunicados de este año. Tenemos un montón de cosas muy interesantes en camino! Como ustedes saben, los invitamos a dar espacio a las cuestiones relacionadas con el tema de este año (la eliminación de la exposición a sustancias peligrosas en el lugar de trabajo).El “slogan” publico que la CSI y Hazards van a utilizar es TRABAJO TOXICO – YA BASTA DE EXPOSICIONES MORTALES! (esta no es la traducción oficial – estoy esperando las sugerencias de los traductores)

Para información, vamos a empezar a enviar las actualizaciones nacionales la semana que viene, así que por favor envíenos sus planes tan pronto como sea posible.

Gracias por su apoyo

Anabella, Rory y Jawad (el equipo de CSI / Hazards para el 28 de abril)