As preparations begin for this year’s 28 April Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) event, the TUC has announced the global campaign focus. “In 2016 the theme for the day is ‘Strong Laws – Strong enforcement – Strong Unions’ because across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the government have removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission is pursuing a dangerous deregulatory strategy,” the union body said.
Dear friends and colleagues
We are pleased to confirm the international theme for the upcoming 28th April, International Day of Commemoration of Dead and Injured Workers – or Workers’ Memorial Day,
“At work, your health and safety depends on Strong laws. Strong enforcement. Strong unions.”
The reason why these concepts are highlighted is clear for most of us working on occupational health and safety:
because across the world workers either have inadequate legal protection from potentially deadly risks to their health at work, or existing safety protection is under threat from governments intent on deregulation. There are also moves to “privatise” regulation through the use of health and safety standards set by private bodies such as ISO.
because we know that, even if we have health and safety laws in place, these are of no use if they are not enforced. Many countries pay lip service to legislation but allow employers to ignore their obligations and put the health and safety of their workforce at risk. The degradation of labour inspectorates is part of these worrying trends.
because they are the best protection for workers. Workplaces that have strong union representation typically have much lower fatality, injury and ill-health rates than those that do not. Yet many countries are bringing in anti-union laws, are trying to replace unions with in-house “staff associations” hand-picked by employers or introducing other forms of “participation” as a way of keeping out unions.
Let the world know!
Please ensure you send details of your planned activities, any resources and artwork you produce for 28 April 2015. You are invited to post them directly in the 28th April Facebook group by typing Workers’ Memorial Day or clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/170025585213/
You can also send them to us by email Anabella.email@example.com
We will post all these materials in the joint ITUC/Hazards 2016 28th April website, www.28april.org
Twitter: you are also invited to post pics, posters or announcements of your activities using the hashtag
Tweet #iwmd16 (we know, it’s cryptic for the outside public, but it’s short and helps us for the twitterfeed in the website, and its 2015 equivalent [#iwmd15] proved a success, ‘trending’ at times in more than one country)
Background ITUC materials will be produced for the day. If you have concrete cases, experiences related to the theme that you would like to see in our materials, please send them as soon as possible.
Thanks again for your work and commitment!
Rory, Jawad and Anabella – the 28th April team
Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers. The 28 April annual event is marked all over the world, as workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a plethora of other activities to mark the day.
As preparations begin for this year’s event, the British union federation TUC has announced the global campaign focus. “In 2016 the theme for the day is ‘Strong Laws – Strong enforcement – Strong Unions’ because across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the government have removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission is pursuing a dangerous deregulatory strategy,” the union body said. “However strong laws are not enough if they are not going to be enforced. That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the laws.”
The TUC said that in UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years, while in many other countries enforcement is non-existent. “That is why we also need strong unions. Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the government is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.”
ITUC/Hazards global events listing.
IOHSAD marks Workers’ Memorial Day, remembers workers who died due to work and pushes government to protect Filipino workers’ lives
As the world commemorates this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, safety organization Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development, together with the illegally dismissed workers of Golden Fortune Techno Built Inc., remember the construction workers who have died due to work. more
BWI has reported an enormous number and range of 28 April activities across Latin America and the Caribbean:
- FENATIMAP (Peru): Work stoppage at 1 workplace. Meeting with workers to talk about OSH and to conmemorate workers killed or injured at work in the past.
- SITRAFAPESA (Peru): They participated in the meeting about accidents prevention called Peru’s Congress. 3 of their leaders were trained in the creation of commissions against industrial accidents.
- SINTRACESANLO (Peru): Meetings at workplaces with the presence of the employees. They were talking about the importance of OSH and April 28th.
- SUNTIMAVEN (Venezuela): Stoppages and meetings in the companies were they have Collective Bargaining: Caracas, sawmills Chaguaramas, broom factory Palma Real CA, Sawmill Caucagua CA, Furniture Bima.
- FETRAMECOL (Colombia): Talk at their headquarters with the assistance of their trade unions in Bogota. They discussed techniques of first aid and assistance in case of accidents. Completed the action with 1 minute of silence in commemoration of those killed in accidents.
- FECOTECMAC (Colombia): They held a commemorative session for the dead and injured workers and gave a talk at its headquarters about OSH in construction.
- SINTRA-SKINCO COLOMBIT (Colombia): They participated of a national march in honor to April 28th.
- FETICOM-SP (Brazil): Participated in a state mobilization.
- FETICOM-SC (Brazil): Organized their annual mobilization of OSH called “Movida”. Pamphlets about OSH and accident prevention has been delivered throughout the month of April to workers and construction companies. Distributed those pamphlets during and after the mobilization.
- FETRACONSPAR (Brazil): Organized their VI Seminar of Improving Health and Safety at Work.
- STICC-POA (Brazil): Organized their 4th Seminar Valuing Work and Life: the pillars of a just society.
- FETRACOMPA (Brazil): Developed actions in Batista Campos Square in Belén. Provided information with the logo of the BWI and FETRACOMPA. Used a car with sound to explain the global significance of April 28th.
- SINTEPAV-BA (Brazil): Participated in the march in Salvador Bahía. As part of their program of action on health and safety they: conducted advertising (“No more accidents”) that contributes to greater awareness and reducing accidents; are conducting their annual seminars (which this year 2015 will be completed with the 7th edition); look for collaboration with public bodies (MTE, MPT); directed supervision at construction Works to check working conditions and compliance with the terms OSH; are proving technical assistance in the preparation of the reports of hazards and unsanitary conditions in companies.
- SINTRAICCCM (Brazil): Developed activities in Cuiabá, Várzea Grande, San Antonio Leverger and Rondonópolis. Actively participated in the “Green Abril” program, which took place between April 07th and 28th by the New Trade Union Central of Workers (NCST-MT), the Federation of Industries of Mato Grosso (FETIEMT) and the Trade Union Technical Safety at Work of Mato Grosso (SINTES-MT), in collaboration with the SINTRAICCCM. Attended the allusive program to the International Workers Memorial Day of the Regional Labor Court (TRT-MT), between April 27th and 29th, with a stand of the trade union and provided orientation in relation to workers’ health.
- FENATCO (Haití): Will organize a press conference about this campaign and April 28th meaning. National mobilizations. Meetings with workers and companies businesmen. Creation of brochures and flyers about April 28th and 25 kilos.
- SEBI (Curazao): They performed their activities on May 1st (all together with the International Workers Day). Had a meeting to discuss the relevant trade union action to prevent accidents and illnesses in the workplace. They offered a Conference mass for all workers, with the presence of high officials and members will participate. Then participated of the national march with banners in the streets of the city; visited two busts and make 2 minutes of silence to commemorate those workers who have died during their labors.
- BIU (Bermuda): Held a Health and Safety Conference. And Mr Nisbit gave a radio interview about the deceased workers and the importance of April 28th for the trade union movement at Hott 107.5 FM.
- UNATROPYT (Costa Rica): Will place a commemorative plaque at one of their certifiqued construction works. That plaque will honor all workers who died because of accidents at work, worldwide. Will organize a stoppage (of 1 hour), with the presence of one Labor Inspector that will certify that every OSH regulations are correct. During the stoppage they will have meetings with workers on site.
- SUNTRACS (Costa Rica): Will organize a stoppage (between 30 minutes to 1 hour), with the presence of one Labor Inspector that will certify that every OSH regulations are correct. During the stoppage they will have meetings with workers on site.
- FENTICOMMC (Dominican Republic): Will organize their annual Workshop on Occupational Health and Hygiene.
- FETRACOM (Dominican Republic): They participated in the 3rd National Congress of Occupational Hazards organized by its Trade Union Confederation (on April 27th), in order to promote a culture of prevention against accidents in the workplace.
- SINCS-G (Guatemala): Will organize a socialization campaign about April 28th with flags and banners at strategic points in Guatemala. They´ll organize as well a tripartite activity about OSH with representatives from the Local Government, employers and SINCS-G trade union leaders.
- SUNTRACS (Panama): They have created radio and TV spots about April 28th and accident prevention. Also organized a national press conference promoting their campaign for this year. On April 28th they´ll perform national mobilizations.
- SITICEDPA (Panama): Stoppage and meeting with workers at the cement plant about OSH.
- FITCM-N (Nicaragua): Workshop about OSH with representatives of the Health and Safety Committees on different companies.
- SNSCAASC (Nicaragua): Performed an assembly on site with 250 employees and the presence of the Ministry of Labour and representatives of the company where they did the stoppage.
- SOICSCES (El Salvador): Organized meetings with workers at workplace and participated of the national march.
- UOCRA (Argentina): Will organize assemblies and meetings with construction workers and delegates. Will deliver brochures and posters about April 28th and about the main risks of our industry. At different workplaces they have placed posters about the occupational risks of the use of amianto and its biological hazards. They have designed and placed a banner about the defense OSH at its website. Created and lauched an advertising spot on their channel “Building TV”. Will place a commemorative plaque and will spread an awareness message about April 28th on social networks.
- UECARA (Argentina): Will participate in the Argentina Week of Health and Safety at Work, holding an exhibition about the policies developed over the last year on OSH, the projects and the work plan initiated in this 2015 by the trade union. Will deliver on the stand different brochures and materials about OSH, and will offer to the public interactive games for educational purposes and a medical space for the control of blood pressure and vital signs.
- SINTRAIGCMA (Paraguay): They participated at the Worker Week: between April 27th to May 1st, and at the national mobilizations. Also gave a OSH panel to all workers.
- FETRACEM (Chile): Stoppage and meetings in workplaces about OSH, through its affiliates.
- FETRACOMA (Chile): They developed assemblies in various construction sites and created a promotional poster for the campaign.
On April 28th, tripartite partners of the ILO met together for a workshop on the theme“Join in Building the Culture of Prevention on OHS” to mark International Workers’ Memorial day. More than 100 participants attended the programme including delegates from PNG. FTUC was represented by 10 participants, some of whom traveled from Levuka. The guest speaker from FTUC was Mr. Rouhit Karan Singh, the Assistant National Secretary. Below is the speech that was delivered in the evening programme where the OHS awards were announced. more
To mark International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April, mining unions in several countries in Latin America, representing over 130,000 mineworkers, are taking coordinated action to demand the ratification and full application of ILO Convention 176. more
Members from the dockers’, road transport workers, railway workers and seafarers’ sections were part of 28 April activities highlighting the ITF container safety campaign. The issue of toxic gases in containers tied in with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) theme for IWMD – removing exposure to hazardous substances at work. more