Tag Archives: NZCTU

New Zealand: Workers Memorial Day a time to reset health and safety – NZCTU

Today, 28th of April, is Worker’s Memorial Day. “We must all take responsibility for better health and safety at work in New Zealand. 100 working people were killed in workplaces in the last year,” said Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff. “It is a sombre reflection that today we also open up many workplaces under COVID-19 level 3, and the health and safety of working people is on everyone’s mind.”

At midday today, union members across New Zealand and the world, will be taking a minute to light a candle and remember the 100 people killed in workplaces, 100 lives too many.”

“We also turn our minds to the international theme of Worker’s Memorial Day, which is ‘Stop the Pandemic at Work’, timely for the re-opening of many worksites under the cloud of COVID -19. We know that internationally there have been thousands of working people exposed. Hundreds of those working in healthcare around the world have died at work trying to save others.”

“In New Zealand, we are proud that our ‘go hard go early’ lockdown has prevented any workplace exposure deaths from COVID-19. We should be taking the same attitude to all health and safety risks at work. “

“The Council of Trade Unions will today be surveying those who went back to the work site today about whether the ’10 checks for a safe return to work’ have been followed. Alert Level 3 is no return to ‘business as usual’ for health and safety. Let the Level 3 re-opening be the reset button we need to treat every workplace risk with the same level of caution we will for COVID-19 – there is no reason any Kiwi should be killed at work,” Wagstaff said.

https://www.union.org.nz/workers-memorial-day-a-time-to-reset-health-and-safety/

New Zealand: COVID-19 abuses logged with unions – NZCTU

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has launched an online tool for working Kiwis to identify employers who aren’t doing the right thing during the COVID-19 period.

CTU President Richard Wagstaff said: “We want to ensure that people are able to tell their stories and log what is happening to them. Due to the number and complexity of problems that a significant number of working people are experiencing we need to create a register so that these cases can be triaged and addressed.”

“Where we identify there are systematic breaches of employment law we will be raising these with government.”

“Employment law still needs to be adhered to – employers who breach the law need to be held to account.”

There are 6 main areas we are seeing poor behaviour from employers

  1. Dismissals/redundancies
  2. Annual leave/sick leave use
  3. Use of the “wage subsidy”
  4. Changing terms and conditions of employment
  5. Treatment of casual and other precarious working people
  6. Health and safety/essential services

“We strongly encourage anyone who has not been treated fairly to ensure that they log it with us. Together, we will identify whether there are specific employers and industries which need to be urgently communicated with,” Wagstaff said.

Click here for a full-length HD interview with CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges as she explains the initiative and why it’s needed.

https://www.union.org.nz/covid-19-breaches-of-work-rights-will-be-logged-with-unions/

New Zealand: Multiple events to be held to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day

All around the globe events will be occurring to mark Workers Memorial Day to remember those who were killed at work.

“In the last year 55 working Kiwis went to work and never came home. Every single person who heads out the door to begin their working day should have full confidence that they’ll return home again at the end of their work day,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff.

“Of particular concern are construction, manufacturing, and agriculture (farming). These industries are killing more Kiwis than any other. We challenge employers to do more to keep those they employ safe at work.”

“WorkSafe estimates that 800 – 1000 people each year die from “non-acute” work related illnesses more than double the number people killed on our roads. People are dying from exposures to harmful products and chemicals which cause cancers and other serious illnesses. Of particular note action is still very much needed on the issue of asbestos.”

“More than 3,000 people were seriously hurt at work in the last year. These are injuries which in many cases could have resulted in death. This number should be of real concern and a very clear indication that more, much more, needs to be done to make work safer,” Wagstaff said.

For more information about New Zealand statistics including break down by industry – https://worksafe.govt.nz/data-and-research/ws-data/fatalities/

International Information about Workers Memorial Day http://28april.org/

New Zealand Events to mark Workers Memorial Day: 

Sunday 28 April

Timaru – 12 noon at corner of Port Loop Road and Marine Parade, opposite the port offices. Deputy Mayor to speak.

Dunedin -11.45am, Workers Memorial, Market Reserve, Dunedin. Clare Curran MC

Christchurch – at 12noon at Memorial Garden, Sydenham

Monday 29 April

Wellington Rail Yard – 12 noon – new memorial unveiling for Ambrose Manaia killed March 2000

Hutt Rail Shops – 12noon at memorial flagpole site

Palmerston North – 12.10pm – 12.50 Workers’ Memorial, Memorial Park, Fitzroy St

Napier – 12noon Port southern entrance by seafarers rest – service at memorial site

Waikato Rail – 12noon service at KiwiRail Te Rapa memorial site

Blackball May 4th at 3pm a short ceremony at the Museum as part of Mayday.

http://www.union.org.nz/workers-memorial-day-april-28/