Category Archives: News

Bangladesh: Unions do not forget Rana Plaza and fight for no more deaths

On the occasion of 28th April 2016, Bangladeshi unions will mobilise 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 and a demonstration on April 28th to honour all who died and got sick at work.

Last April 24th, in the occasion of 3rd anniversary of Rana Plaza Tragedy, the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) organised a victim demonstration  (9am morning) followed by meetings for Rana Plaza Survivors in Savar  with mobilization of media. When it comes to April 28th, a workers demo will be organised in Dhaka calling for strong law and strong enforcement in workplaces.

The demo would be a joint endeavour by the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), Bangladesh Free Trade Unions Congress (BFTUC) and other associated trade unions and industrial federations.

The video “Growth with Tears” on the struggle of Rana Plaza victims and can be viewed below:

For more information, pl. contact Repon Chowdhury, BFTUC

Australia: Unions call on workers to put the tools down for Workers’ Memorial Day

On 28th April, the Australian trade union movement will mobilise in all Australian provinces for occupational health and safety and to ensure we remember those who died or loose their health at work, and keep the fight for the living. A  smart social media kit has been produced  (something that hopefully will inspire others!)

For more information on Australian actions for 28th April, please contact Amy Jenkins, Victorian Trades Hall Council,

Canada: CUPE calls for full asbestos ban

On April 28, the Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, CUPE is renewing its call for a comprehensive ban on asbestos in Canada—the number one cause of occupational death in Canada.

It’s estimated that asbestos-related diseases kill more than 2,000 people ever year in Canada. Many Canadians, including CUPE members, go to work every day in hospitals, schools, and other buildings that contain the deadly substance. Despite these facts, Canada continues to import asbestos in products like brake pads and cement pipes. In fact, just last year before losing power the Harper government actually made it easier to import products containing asbestos.

“The Harper government showed a repeated disregard for the health and safety of Canadians. This Liberal government now has an opportunity to show that they do care—that the lives of countless workers across Canada matter to them,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “It’s time to catch up with the rest of the world. On April 28, we’re calling on the Trudeau government to ban the import, export and use of asbestos in Canada.”

The federal government recently announced that they have banned the use of asbestos in the construction or renovation of federal buildings, but Hancock says if they’re serious, the government must go further.

“We’re happy to see progress on this issue, but unless they ban it completely, banning it in federal buildings alone just creates a sad double-standard,” said Hancock. “Banning asbestos isn’t hard! Fifty-six countries around the world have done it. All workers deserve this basic protection.”

Beyond failing to impose a domestic ban, Canada has long been one of a small handful of countries that opposed adding chrysotile asbestos to the hazardous chemical list covered by the United Nations Rotterdam Convention. Including asbestos in the convention would help protect workers both here in Canada and abroad by making it more difficult to import and export the deadly product.

Take action:

Attachments Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

Europe: ETUC calls for new laws

Every year on 28 April, the trade unions stage an event to condemn deaths caused by work. This year, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has chosen to focus on the need to adopt new health and safety laws at EU level. “Workers need better protection. New laws are needed now,” said Esther Lynch, the ETUC Confederal Secretary in charge of occupational health and safety issues.

“The best way to protect workers from disease and injury is through laws at EU and national level. Health protection should not be deregulated or privatised. New technology and innovation have created, and medical research identified, new risks. Strong laws should be backed up by strong enforcement and a strong system of workplace health and safety representatives”, she added.

The ETUC calls more specifically for the European Union to adopt threshold limit values for occupational exposure to 50 carcinogenic substances. The European workers’ movement emphasises that every year 100,000 people die in the EU from cancers developed at work.

Besides dealing with occupational cancers, the ETUC also wants new regulations to be adopted to tackle workers’ exposure to nanoparticles, to psycho-social risks (including stress, violence and harassment) and to the development of musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, back and elbow pain.

To raise awareness, the ETUC will be organising an ‘online action’ from 18 to 28 April alongside trade union leaders who will be demanding new European health and safety regulations.

To find out more:

ETUC online action

Put your ‪#‎ToolsDown for International Workers’ Memorial Day next week

Put your ‪#‎ToolsDown for International Workers’ Memorial Day next week.


The kit gives you everything you need to organise a place, talk to your boss and ideas on how to get your message across.

‪#‎IWMD16 is an opportunity to remember the dead, fight for the living and talk to your coworkers about how to improve health & safety.

Download the kit or ask for one to be mailed to you!

We Are Union OHS Reps• Facebook

UK unions join the international call for ‘Strong Laws – Strong Enforcement – Strong Unions’


On 28th April, the British Trades Union Congress is organising dozens of events across the country, including ceremonies, seminars, demos and rallies, with union activists’ reflecting on the dual purpose of the 28th April: Remember the dead, and fight for the living. The full and updated list of events can be found in a dedicated TUC page:

For more information on TUC activities for this 28th April, please contact Hugh Robertson

Globally, the 2016 theme for the day is ‘Strong Laws – Strong Enforcement – Strong Unions’

Download background materials here and posters here

Post your activities in Facebook, Twitter with #IWMD16 or send them to us by email to

Marking 28 April: Ten historical worker health and safety films

These 10 films show workplace tragedies and hazards over the past 100 years. April 28 is Worker Memorial Day, a time to remember those who died on the job and to fight for better health and safety for all workers. Facebook

28 Avril –J-10 et le compte à rebours commence aujourd’hui !!

La Journée Internationale de Commémoration est moins de deux semaines, et encore une fois elle se profile pour être le plus grand événement de l’année sur le calendrier de la santé et de la sécurité au travail. Le mouvement syndical a lancé cette journée, qui cette année a une chance d’atteindre plus de 70 pays, et verra se développer des manifestations, des commémorations, des minutes de silence, des initiatives liées à la sécurité au travail et plein d’autres actions.

Il est encore temps de planifier un événement près de chez vous, ou de faire connaître et marquer la journée dans votre lieu de travail. De nombreux syndicats ont produit leurs propres matériaux et affiches pour ce 28 avril. D’autres ressources, y compris des affiches en français peuvent être téléchargées à partir du site web joint CSI/Hazards

Le thème pour l’année 2016 est «des lois fermes, une application stricte et des syndicats forts ».

Nous avons déjà commencé à collecter les évènements et matériaux disponibles dans le site web.

Si vous utilisez twitter, nous vous invitons à communiquer vos évènements en utilisant le hashtag #iwmd16

Nous avons reçu des informations de l’Espagne, du Royaume-Uni, la Moldavie, la Belgique, l’Ecosse, l’Australie, entre autres et les infos par pays vont commencer à circuler dès aujourd’hui. Envoyez-nous vos plans !!

28 de Abril – 10 días para la jornada y hoy empezamos la cuenta regresiva!

La jornada internacional de conmemoración es en menos de dos semanas y una vez más prevemos un evento enorme en el calendario de la salud laboral. El 28 de abril, que tiene su origen en el movimiento sindical y que este año puede alcanzar a más de 70 países y territorios se cristalizará por medio de protestas, conmemoraciones, minutos de silencio y otras iniciativas vinculadas a la salud laboral.

Todavía tienen tiempo para planear un evento y conmemorar la jornada en su lugar de trabajo! Muchos sindicatos ya están produciendo sus materiales y posters para el 28 de abril. Puede encontrar algunos de ellos (incluidos posters en castellano) en el sitio web CSI/Hazards

El tema de este año es “Leyes firmes, controles rigurosos y sindicatos fuertes”.

Ya empezamos a compilar los eventos y materiales en la página web.

Y si usas Twitter, comunica tus eventos usando el hashtag #iwmd16 Enviaremos más ideas de mensajes para twitter en la semana.

Ya recibimos información de España, Reino Unido, Moldavia, Bélgica, Escocia, Australia entre otros, y las noticias por país arrancan hoy. Envíanos las tuyas!!

28 April –10 days to go and the countdown starts today!

International Workers’ Memorial Day is less than two weeks away, and is once again set to be the biggest event ever on the health and safety calendar. The union initiated 28 April event, which this year is aiming to build on the 70 plus countries that mark the event each year, will see protests, commemorations, work stoppages, workplace safety initiatives and a host of other activities.

There’s still time to plan an event near you, if there is not one already, or to publicise and mark the day in your workplace. Many unions have produced their own 28 April toolboxes and posters. Other resources, including new posters in English, French and Spanish versions, can be downloaded from the ITUC/Hazards website.

The 2016 theme for the day is ‘Strong Laws – Strong Enforcement – Strong Unions’.

ITUC/Hazards global events listing and resources, including new posters in English, French and Spanish.

For twitter, use the #iwmd16

We have received information already from Spain, UK, Moldova, Belgium, Scotland, Australia among others and the country news will start being sent later today. Send us yours!!