Category Archives: Events listing

On 28 April, Swedish unions push for an ILO convention to tackle gender-based violence at work

LO Sweden opinion piece published on 28 April in Dagens Arena.

Today, 28 April, is the world day for safety and health at work celebrated of trade union organisations around the world. The purpose of the day is to underline the importance of preventive work in all areas.

This year, there is a unique chance for the Swedish government and Swedish employers to give workers a worldwide protection against gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace. What is required is that you agree with the proposed new ILO Convention to be treated at the ILO Labour Conference in June. It is important that States and employers agree that enough is enough. Therefore, we want the Government pushing for an ILO Convention against violence and harassment in the workplace. We must make sure to create safer workplaces for women. Only by standing together we can put an end to gender-based violence and harassment in workplaces around the world.

Berit Müllerström, andre vice ordförande LO
Joa Bergold, utredare LO:s enhet för välfärd, utbildning och arbetsmarknad
Oscar Ernerot, Ombudsman LO:s enhet för internationella frågor

Oscar Ernerot
LO Sweden
Ombudsman/International Secretary
Internationella Enheten/International Department


Ghana: Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) commemorates 28 April

Health and safety of the workforce in institutions are critical just as the productivity and sustainability of these institutions. Due to this, the Ghanaian Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) is calling on institutions as a matter of urgency to put in measures to ensure the safety of workers in the discharge of their duties. more


Canada: Empty black streetcar in Toronto marks National Day of Mourning for workers

Workers gathered across the country on Saturday to mark the National Day of Mourning for workers who were killed, injured or suffered illness on the job.

In Toronto, an empty black streetcar was driven through the city streets on Friday night to draw attention to the many workers who never make the commute home. More from CTV News

Death on the Job USA: 400,000 deaths since 1970, only 93 criminal safety prosecutions

Death on the Job USA: 400,000 deaths since 1970, only 93 criminal safety prosecutions. AFL-CIO 

Indonesia: FKUI joins global campaign for safe work at Lafarge-Holcim

BWI affiliate FKUI conducted actions for 28 April demanding LaFargeHolcim, Aceh-Indonesia, keeps its  promises on occupational safety and health, social security and ending discrimination between workers in subcontractor-outsourcing with directly employed workers.

FKUI report • KBA.ONE report  • Aceh news

Switzerland: 28 April – Workplace conditions cause deaths, not workers

In Geneva on 26-27 April 2018, the IndustriALL Global Union Executive Committee adopted a resolution reaffirming the importance of 28 April, known as the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers, Workers’ Memorial Day, or simply the Day of Mourning.

28 April is a day of sadness and anger, of public mourning to commemorate all workers who have died as the result of work: whether as the result of a sudden violent accident, a slow wasting disease, or an act of suicide brought on by workplace stress.

Workplace conditions cause deaths, not workers. IndustriALL campaigns for health and safety in mining, in the textile industries, for an end to sandblasting and a ban on asbestos – but more generally for health and safety within all industries and companies treating workers as disposable commodities.

The myth that careless workers cause most accidents is used to blame victims and justify behaviour-based safety programmes. Yet, consider the relentless drumbeat of deadly mining disasters, or the nearly two million workers who die of occupational diseases each year. None of these were caused by worker carelessness.

Demanding perfect, non-stop vigilance is not a safety system. Instead, it is a blackmail tool to create fear of reporting accidents; a propaganda tool for avoiding responsibility and liability.

Safety and health at work is a union issue. Let us take it back from the hacks, consultants, apologists, psychologists, underwriters and lawyers who have taken it from us.

Workplace health and safety is fundamentally a question of workers’ rights to:

Know about workplace hazards

Refuse or shut down unsafe work

Participate fully in health and safety decision-making

As workers, we have the moral right to know, fully, about the hazards of the materials, tools and equipment we work with; particularly chemicals. Gaps in toxicological knowledge must be filled by independent research. Industrial secrecy, the frequent excuse for concealment, only keeps knowledge out of the hands of workers and consumers – competitors already know what is in their competitor’s products.

We demand the absolute right to refuse to perform, or to shut down, any work we perceive to be unsafe or unhealthy without fear of retaliation or discipline and with joint investigation of the reasons for the refusal, and joint agreement on resolution of the concerns.

We demand full participation in the development and implementation of health and safety policies, programmes, procedures, risk assessments, inspections, audits and investigations. Health and safety must be done with us, not to us – our lives and health are in play, and the moral authority to assess a risk belongs to those who face it.

Globally, many workers have no health and safety rights at all. Even in the best of regions we accept compromised versions of these three principal rights. We must insist to have them in full.

In the end, it’s very simple. Workers have rights; employers have responsibilities – and unions make work safer.

Uganda: Building union UBCCECAWU highlights its campaign for safe work at LafargeHolcim

Uganda: Building union UBCCECAWU, a BWI affiliate, highlights its campaign for safe work at LafargeHolcim.


Get the picture? Global construction union federation BWI is leading the way on 28 April

Get the picture? Global construction union federation BWI is leading the way on 28 April… check out their photo gallery…

Georgia: Georgia Construction and Foresters Independent Trade Union commemorates workers killed on site.

Global union federation Building and Wood Workers’ International  (BWI) affiliate Georgia Construction and Foresters Independent Trade Union commemorates workers killed on site.


Pakistan: ‘Workers’ health and safety should be ensured and legislation be done’

Unions in Pakistan held a press conference on 28 April, demanding better workplace safety standards and effective safety laws and enforcement, and issued this statement:

The trade unions’ movement demands that the safety of workers at workplaces – Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) – is their basic rights which the International Labor Organization in its civil declaration 2008 has accepted. It is also the responsibility of the state, employers and relevant authorities to ensure workers safety and they have failed in doing so. To make the socio-economic conditions better, it is necessary that the OSH is put among the top priorities and the federal government ratifying the ILO convention 176 do a legislation like the Sindh government did. Pakistan is one of those countries in the world where accidents at workplaces and workers losing lives and getting injuries in them are happening on a nearly daily basis and its prevention is nowhere is seen in the governments’ concerns. Unfortunately, there is no record of industrial accident s with the relevant authorities and because of this, it is intractable to determine how many workers die, injure, develop diseases at workplaces and the economic loss these problems cause.

Pakistan is the country where we have seen worst workplace disasters in textile and ship-breaking industries like Baldia factory fire and Gadani oil tanker tragedy yet there has been no remedy nor do such incidents make it to report, except a few, and the daily casualties are taken very casual. This appalling situation can trigger another industrial disaster anytime. The most recent example of it is the fire in the Lucky garments factory in Federal B Industrial Area in Karachi which could cause a massive human loss. It is in the very city that has 70 percent of the country’s industries but safety is a rare thing to be found here. At one side there are no safety arrangements in factories nor workers are trained to deal with emergency situations and on the other, the fire brigade department is in the ruins, They have no adequate resources to fight off the blazes. Though Sindh government has passed the OSH law, there has been no implementation on it.

According to an ILO report, 2.3 million people die in accidents at workplaces and of diseases caused by their work in the world and this inflict an annual loss of USD3 trillion. There are no data about Pakistan, however. The same ILO report states that two billion workers in the world are unhealthy and they suffer hand to mouth economic condition with life insecurity. Among them, 77 percent work on daily wages, contract and part-time and because of having no OSH the global economy suffer 10 to 15 percent losses in the GDP. Every year, 313 million workers get injuries during work in the world, meaning 860,000 daily. Similarly, 6400 die daily in work-related incidents.

With regard to OSH, the most dangerous sector is of construction and that is among the six top industries in the world where the workplaces casualties are alarmingly high. In Pakistan, the construction industry is booming because of the ‘development’ going around, yet there is no account of workers’ health and safety. To end the poverty and inequality in the society, giving employment and social security to the people is inevitable. Otherwise, the change and the establishment of an ideal situation is a mere dream.

Through this press conference, we demand that:

* Workers health and safety should be ensured in all industries, including textile and ship-breaking
* Like Sindh, other provinces in the country and the Center should make legislation in light of OSH and ensure implementation on it
* Monitoring committees, having workers representatives onboard, should be made at the provincial and federal level for an effective implementation
* Special legislation should be made for ship-breaking and construction sectors
* Governments should run campaigns to create awareness about health and safety and the subject should be included in the curriculum

Those who spoke at the press conference are Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary National Trade Union Federation, Zehra Khan, general secretary Home Based Women Workers Federation, Gul Rehman, general secretary Aluminium Packages Azad Workers Union (CBA), Riaz Abbasi, general secretary Atlas Group of Companies Workers Union (CBA), Bashir Ahmed Mehmoodani, president Ship Breaking Workers Union Gadani, Saeeda Khatoon, chairperson Ali Enterprises Factory (Baldia) Fire Affectees Association, and Mushtaq Ali Shan, information secretary Sindh Agriculture General Workers Union (CBA).

Nasir Mansoor, deputy general secretary National Trade Union Federation