Argentina: La muerte por el trabajo es un crimen



Europe: 28 April – International Workers Memorial Day – New health and safety laws now!

3,515 people died in reported accidents at work in the EU in 2012 – the last time the EU collected the statistics. 100,000 die in the EU every year from work-related cancers.

The EU has done very little in recent years to strengthen the protection of workers from workplace diseases and injuries, despite the fact that new technology and innovation has created, and medical research has identified, new risks.

Workers need better protection,” said Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary. “New laws are needed now.

The most efficient and effective way to protect workers from workplace disease and injury is through laws at EU and national level. Workers’ health protection should not be deregulated or privatised. Strong laws should be backed up by strong enforcement and a strong system of workplace health and safety representatives.”

The ETUC calls for new health and safety laws to be brought in urgently, to protect workers by

  • Implementing binding occupational exposure limits for at least 50 cancer-causing substances, instead of the current 5, in 2016 instead of delaying until 2020;
  • Putting forward new regulations to deal with
– nanoparticles;
– psycho-social risks including stress, violence and harassment;
– neck, back and elbow pain.
One Directive – on carcinogens and mutagens – has been under review by the EU for some 12 years without any change being made! Following trade union pressure the European Commission has promised progress this year on protecting workers from cancer. However, the European Commission is continuing to ignore demands from trade unions, the European Parliament and member states for legislation on nanomaterials*.

Concerns about the ‘compliance costs’ of regulation for business ignore the costs to workers and their families,” added Lynch, “and should not stop action to prevent workplace accidents and disease.

Evidence of the need for action, in addition to the horrific death toll, is clear:

  • Between 2010 and 2015 there has been a rise in the percentage of workers handling chemicals and infectious materials.**
  • Half of all workers consider work-related stress to be common in their workplace.***
  • More than 2 in 5 workers work in painful or tiring positions for a quarter or more of their working time.**
The ETUC is the voice of workers and represents 45 million members from 89 trade union organisations in 39 European countries, plus 10 European Trade Union Federations.
The ETUC is also on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Flickr.
Copyright © 2016 European Trade Union Confederation / Confédération européenne des syndicats, All rights reserved.

More information:

Press and Communications
Julian Scola
Phone +32 (0) 486117394
Daniele Melli
Phone +32 (0) 473942563
Stéphanie Wouters
+32 (0) 473532730

Tasmania: Put your shoes out on 28 April

April 28 is International Workers Memorial Day. A day of remembrance for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell through their work.

Show your solidarity. This Thursday take a photo of your shoes and post to social media with#putyourshoesout and #IWMD16

Remember the dead. Fight for the living.

Launceston Memorial Service:
8am Workers’ Memorial, Elizabeth Gardens, near Aurora Stadium, April 28

Hobart Memorial Service:
5 for 5.30pm St David’s Cathedral, April 28

HACSU Health & Community Services Union (TAS)
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation – ANMF Tas Branch
Australian Education Union AEU – Tasmanian Branch
Community and Public Sector Union (spsft) Tasmania
United Voice Tasmania
CEPU Tasmania
IEU – Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania
Maritime Union of Australia – Tasmanian Branch
The Tasmanian Grassroots Union Choir
Unions Tasmania Women’s Committee
Australian Unions

Australia: Zola’s story

“Thursday April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day when we remember the dead and fight for the living. We have a history of marking this important day with events around the country. Last year we asked our members to put their boots and tools out in memory of a worker who was killed at the Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

At the same time we were sent an email by Zola: an 8 year old grade 3 student from the south east of Melbourne who wanted to know what her class could do to commemorate the day. Several people in her family had been injured at work and so Zola’s mum suggested she contact the CFMEU.

We were blown away.

Zola organised her class to put their shoes and pencil cases (their tools) out, and took a photo.

Every 6 minutes a worker in the industries we cover is either killed or seriously injured. We will always stand up for safety. We’re asking that you stand up with us.”

New Zealand: 99 Kiwis killed at work

HomeThis Workers Memorial Day, April 28th, we remember the 99* New Zealanders who went to work and never came home, the 99 New Zealanders who were killed at work.

“Workers Memorial Day is a sombre. We remember those whose lives would have been saved if their workplaces had been safer. All of these deaths could have been prevented,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“On Workers Memorial Day Selina Eruera, mother of Eramiha Pairama who was killed at work while he was working on a forestry block, will sit in a coroners hearing in Taneatua, in the Bay of Plenty. She will listen to the detail of how her son was killed at work and how his death could have been prevented if the right health and safety procedures had been in place,

“Earlier this month new health and safety law came into force. This new law means that kiwis are safer at work.  But there is still work to be done.  We know that people that work on farms need better protections (particularly those using quad bikes). We also know that elected health and safety representatives are crucial in keeping working people safe but are under attack by some employers.  We must also address is the menace of asbestos – New Zealand’s worst workplace killer. We urge Cabinet to ban the import of asbestos containing materials but that is not enough.  We need a plan to eliminate it from our buildings,

“On Workers Memorial Day all around the country events of remembrance are occurring. There are also events focused on fighting for the living; fundraising for the legal work which has justice in its sight for the families whose loved ones never came home,” Wagstaff said.

*ACC statistic here

Please note that in May there are two coroners’ hearings into forestry workplace deaths in the Rotorua Coroner’s Court. 10 May – Charles Finlay. 11 May – David McMurtrie

Unions focus on the importance of social dialogue for OHS at company level in Senegal


For this 28th April, the group bringing together all trade union centres from Senegal around OHS (the InterSyndicale Sécurité et Santé au Travail) will co-organise, along with governmental agencies and employer representatives a seminar/ceremony reinforcing stakeholders’ capacity on OHS-related prevention policies. The Senegalese employment minister will be present.

For more information on this event, please contact Ousmane Diop

Unions call for better OHS regulations in Slovenia

ZSSS logoIn the context of the upcoming 28th April commemoration, the trade union confederation ZSSS has called on the government to adopt better regulations on occupational safety and health as it expressed support for a campaign to amend the directive on protection of workers from risks related to the exposure to carcinogens or mutagens.

More information available here

Croatia: Unions focus on workplace cancers on 28 April

 In Croatia, the UATUC has succeeded the challenge of bringing 28th April commemoration to the heart of a series of union events which start on the 26th and run until May Day.

To be highlighted are two conferences – one on healthy workplaces for all ages, one calling for stopping workplace cancers- which will be organised on April 27th. UATUC also informed us of a strong focus on solidarity with refugees which they will be having in this week of mobilisations. More information on these actions can be found in UATUC Facebook events: and

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,

Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living

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