Category Archives: News

Global: IWMD 2022 – 105 BWI affiliates in 50 countries call to recognise OHS as a fundamental right

To commemorate this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day, BWI-affiliated trade unions once again raised their voices to persuade the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to recognise health and safety as a fundamental right.

Through meetings with workers, nationwide tours on occupational health and safety (OHS), press conferences, OHS training workshops and social media use for campaigning, 105 BWI-affiliated unions from 50 countries took part in the global union’s month-long IWMD campaign.

Some of the highlights of BWI affiliates’ various IWMD actions worldwide were:

  • The action by the Belgian affiliate ACV where more than 1,000 ACV activists and staff members visited nearly 15,000 industry workers in the spread of more than 2,000 sites. The trade union took advantage of the opportunity to give workers good advice on health and safety.
  • In South Korea, KFCITU opened a union hotline for the reporting of dangerous work, and held various rallies to support disclosure of serious accidents and occupational diseases. It also held a memorial ceremony on the second anniversary of the Han Express Accident (29 April)
  • In Montenegro, the Association of Occupational Safety and Health of Montenegro awarded Nenad Markovic, President of the Trade Union of Construction and Industry of Building Materials of Montenegro (SGIGMCG), for his union’s exemplary contribution to the promotion of occupational health and safety.
  • In Zimbabwe, the affiliates CLAWUZ, ZCATWU and GAPWUZ organised an Occupational Safety and Health Workshop on IWMD. During the workshop, participants shared their OHS experiences, discussed the key principles and aims of OHS, and highlighted the various types of occupational hazards.
  • In Brazil, BWI affiliates, together with other trade unions and government organizations, launched a book titled “Rosca sem Fim: Basta de mortes, acidentes e doenças do trabalho.”
  • BWI’s youth affiliates celebrated IWMD 2022 by once again carrying the theme “life before profit.” This was led by young trade unionists from FILCA CSIL (Italy), SERBUK (Indonesia), CMWEU (Mauritius), FOCRA (Argentina), STICC POA (Brasil) and INTERGREMIAL (Colombia), among many others. The youth section of BYGGNADS released a video commemorating the 44 workers who lost their lives in 2021 to work-related accidents. Meanwhile, an OHS exhibit was mounted by CMWEU young unionists in Mauritius near a monument in Rose Hill to honour of workers.

Labour inspections and workplace sensitisation activities were also held at construction projects in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Turkey, Tajikistan, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina to ensure safety, hygiene and health measures are taken at worksites.

The big presence of BWI affiliates on conventional and social media is also worth mentioning. Such presence ensured BWI’s messages were conveyed far and wide and further stressed the importance of this year’s International Labour Conference (ILC) to declare OSH as a fundamental right.

To cap the campaign, BWI recognised the achievement of its affiliates in gathering signed joint OHS declarations with different construction, building materials and wood companies and employers’ associations. In total, over 450 OHS declarations have now been signed covering over 483,000 employers, and 18 million workers.

Source: BWI 

Fiji: Minister Launches National OHS Plan

Fiji Commerce and Employees Federation IR consultant Noel Tofiga, MP Alvick Maharaj, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Bala, Director ILO for the Pacific Island countries Martin Karimli, and FTUC rep Rouhit Karan Singh during the launch at the Sugar Cane Growers Council Building in Lautoka on April 28, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia/Fiji Sun

Fiji’s Ministry of Employment in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has implemented a five-year Occupational Health Service Strategic Plan.

The partners include employers’ and unions’ representatives, international partners, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“My Ministry in collaboration with the tripartite National OHS Advisory Board has already endorsed the process to ratify ILO Convention 161 on Occupational Health Services, ILO Convention 187 on the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, and ILO Convention 162 on the elimination of asbestos,” said Parveen Kumar Bala, the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations.

Source: Fiji Sun

Europe: Workers’ Memorial Day – 30,000 more preventable workplace deaths expected by 2030

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Almost 30,000 people may lose their lives at work in the EU over this decade without action to make workplaces safer, trade unions are warning on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

The number of fatal workplace accidents fell slowly over of the last decade, although progress was far from steady with deaths rising again in 2019, according to Eurostat data.

Another 27,041 workplace deaths should be expected between 2020 and 2029 if change continues at the same pace as during the last decade, an analysis by the European Trade Union Institute has found (see Notes below).

Workplace deaths are not expected to fall at all in Spain, are set to get even worse in France and wouldn’t end in Europe for more than 30 years.  They could though be ended by 2030 if the political will existed.

Number of workplace deaths expected this decade and year in which fatal workplace accidents will be eliminated in selected member states if 2010-2019 trends continue:

Poland: 563 deaths – 2027
Portugal: 481 deaths – 2030
Romania 1,451 deaths – 2036
Austria: 694 deaths – 2037
Italy: 3,434 deaths – 2042
Germany: 3,143 deaths – 2044
Czechia: 851 deaths – 2052
France: 7,803 deaths – Never
Spain: 3,191 deaths – Never

EU27: 27,041 – 2055

The findings come as the European Trade Union Confederation launches a manifesto for zero death at work which calls on European leaders to “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk” on saving the lives of working people.

The manifesto – which has been signed by Ministers, MEPs, trade union leaders and top occupational health and safety experts – called for an increase in workplace health and safety training, inspections and penalties to end workplace fatalities by 2030.

Half a million fewer workplace safety inspections are taking place across Europe now than at the start of the last decade, the ETUC’s analysis of International Labour Organisation data has found.

As well as workplace accidents, the ETUC are also calling on EU leaders to do more to end the scandal of cancer, which still takes the lives of over 100,000 people every year, as well as protecting workers from increasing extreme weather events caused by climate change.

ETUC Deputy General Secretary Claes-Mikael Stahl said:

“Nobody should leave home worried about whether or not they will make it back to see their family after work. But that’s the daily reality for many workers, often because of irresponsible employers cutting corners to increase profits and politicians who attack common sense safety rules and inspections for ideological reasons.

“Thousands of people are still losing their lives every year in brutal – and avoidable – accidents on construction sites, in factories and at other workplaces. Millions of people have also died after being exposed daily to cancer-causing substances at work.

“While workplace deaths might seem like something from another century, these tragedies are set to keep happening in Europe for at least another 30 years. That isn’t inevitable though.

“On International Workers’ Memorial Day, we remember the dead and vow to fight for the living. If politicians are willing to act, we could achieve zero deaths at work by 2030. It’s high time the lives of working people were made a priority.”

Notes

Projection based on the European statistics on accidents at work database (ESAW), linear regression was used to predict the number of fatal accidents at work in the years to come. The number of fatal accidents at work were predicted separately for a selection of Member States, and for EU27 as a whole. For EU27, time predicted yearly fatal accidents with R² = .63, F(1, 7) = 11.7, p = .01.

Source: ETUC

The Americas: 28 de abril, la CSA apoya su incorporación como derecho fundamental del trabajo

La Confederación Sindical de trabajadoras y trabajadores de las Américas (CSA), en el marco del Día Mundial de la Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo (SST), refuerza la importancia de la concientización sobre esta temática, recuerda a los/as trabajadores/as fallecidos/as y enfermas/os producto del trabajo y promueve la iniciativa de incorporar a la SST dentro de los Derechos y Principios Fundamentales de la OIT.

De acuerdo con el informe de la OIT “Fomentar el diálogo social para una cultura de seguridad y salud”, cerca de 2,9 millones de trabajadores y trabajadoras mueren anualmente debido a accidentes y enfermedades en el trabajo y alrededor de 402 millones sufren lesiones no mortales. La crisis sanitaria planteó la urgente necesidad de combatir los principales factores de riesgos que aumentan estas cifras cada año y visibilizó la importancia de contar con políticas nacionales de prevención para luchar contra este problema.

El principal factor de riesgo se encuentra en las largas jornadas laborales, algo que la pandemia ha vuelto a colocar en el centro del debate. Con la restricción a la movilidad y la consecuente implementación abrupta del teletrabajo, la extensión de la jornada se ha instalado de forma silenciosa y sin normas nacionales actualizadas para regular la situación. Esto ha aparejado la agudización de enfermedades profesionales físicas y psicológicas por el estrés y agotamiento, hecho éste facilitado por la utilización de diversas herramientas tecnológicas que terminan causando un monitoreo constante de los trabajadores y las trabajadoras.

Desde el movimiento sindical de la región, volvemos a reiterar la importancia del derecho a la desconexión. El hecho que la fronteras espaciales y temporales se desdibujen con el trabajo a distancia no debe significar una violación a los derechos laborales básicos. Por este motivo, el pago por parte del empleador de los gastos en equipamientos y servicios para trabajar a distancia, el respeto a la privacidad del hogar, el cuidado de la salud físico-emocional de los y las trabajadoras y el derecho a desconectarse, deben seguir estando presentes en la lucha sindical.

Los Convenios Internacionales de la OIT como el 155, 161 y 187 son instrumentos esenciales al momento de regular la SST y debemos continuar fomentando sus ratificaciones. Desde el movimiento sindical de la región, también contamos con dos instrumentos sociopolíticos como son la PLADA (Plataforma de Desarrollo de las Américas) y la ESSLA (Estrategia Sindical en Salud Laboral para las Américas), que debemos reforzar. La salud laboral es un derecho humano fundamental y debemos fomentar sistemas nacionales de protección social universales, públicos y solidarios que incorporen a la SST como pilar.

Para lograr este objetivo, la CSA apoya la iniciativa de la CSI (Confederación Sindical Internacional) de buscar que la SST sea incorporada en la Declaración relativa a los Principios y Derechos Fundamentales en el Trabajo de 1998 que actualmente contempla el derecho a la libertad sindical y negociación colectiva, la eliminación de todas las formas de trabajo forzoso, la abolición efectiva del trabajo infantil y la eliminación de la discriminación en materia de empleo y ocupación. Esto implicará que los Estados miembros deban respetar este derecho, al margen de que hayan ratificado o no los convenios específicos en la materia.

Por estos motivos, y en consonancia con la promoción del tripartismo y el diálogo social que están fomentando desde la OIT para avanzar en este tema, esperamos que, en la próxima Conferencia Internacional del Trabajo, las partes logren la aprobación de la SST como Principio y Derecho Fundamental del Trabajo para dar así un gran paso en esta lucha que afecta las vidas de millones personas.

Source: La Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras de las Americas (CSA) 

Kenya: Quarry and mine workers plant trees to honour work victims

Kenya: Quarry and Mine workers’ union (KQMWU) held the #IWMD22 campaign at Mombasa cement with emphasis on OHS. The commemoration was also done by planting trees at the company to remember workers who have died in the course of work.

Bangladesh: BFTUC calls for OHS to be made a fundamental ILO right

BFTUC joint action on 28 April, calling for OHS to be made a fundamental right at work.

Montenegro: Construction union SGIGMCG receives award for outstanding safety work

MONTENEGRO: UNION RECEIVES AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING WORK ON OHS
On the occasion of the International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April, the Association of Occupational Safety and Health of Montenegro awarded Nenad Markovic, President of the Trade Union of Construction and Industry of Building Materials of Montenegro (SGIGMCG), for his union’s exemplary contribution to the promotion of occupational health and safety.
On receiving the award, Markovic thanked the award-giving association, saying the it is an added incentive and inspiration for trade unionists to further their work on workplace health and safety. He expressed optimism that OHS will soon become a fundamental labor right at the next International Labour Conference. He concluded his speech with the resounding message: “jobs should not kill!”

Uganda: UBCCECAWU organised and campaigned in Kampala to mark 28 April

UBCCECAWU the Building and Construction union from Uganda celebrated the IWMD2022 with a campaign at Roofings limited in Kampala on 28th April.

USA: USW is organising to raise the level of safety protections for everyone

Continue reading USA: USW is organising to raise the level of safety protections for everyone

Moldova: SINDICONS 28 April workplace inspection, flash mob and vigil

? On the International Day of Safety and Health in Work, marked today, April 28, the leadership of the Federation of Construction and Construction Materials “SINDICONS”, together with the leadership of the State Inspectorate of Labor i and the Federation of the Patronage of Construction and Production of Construction Materials in the Republic of Moldova have paid a visit at the mine in Chisinau
✅The working conditions were analyzed from the mine, how the requirements in the field of safety and health in work are respected, which are the benefits of mining. Social partners in the construction branch organized a flashmob in which they called for the respect of standards in the SSM field, emphasizing that the right to safety and health in work is a primordial right. At the same time, those present commemorated the victims of the work accidents.
!! According to official statistics, in the Republic of Moldova during the year 2021, 627 incidents of injuries were reported to the State Inspectorate of Labor in the field of labor, due to which 664 people suffered, 78 of which have died.