Unions’ role on health and safety spreads across construction sites in AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST, ASIA and LATIN AMERICA

With affiliates from more than thirty countries running activities this April 28th, the Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) sets a high bar for other global union federations! From awareness raising actions in worksites to training and debates with Builders’ associations, from candle lighting ceremonies to rallies, this years’ 28th April counts with a strong mobilisation of construction workers.

As the list is growing as we write this post, stay tuned to the website 28april.org for updates. For more information on BWI events, please contact fiona.murie@bwint.org


In Burkina Faso  FTBBF union activists will organise an awareness raising activity in an interchange construction site in Ouagadougou.

In Gabon, UTBTPBSP union activists will highlight links between occupational health and safety and greening workplaces.

In Ghana Timber and Woodworkers’ Union (TWU) activists will engage in dialogue and health and safety management and participation training with companies on 27 and 28  April. The Construction and Building Material Workers’ union (CBMWU) activists will raise health and safety issues in the context of an activity on trade unions’ role on development and peacekeeping.

In Malawi, the BCCEAWU will organise a press briefing and a rally on OHS In Mauritius CMWEU plans to organise a public debate and campaign on OHS, including distribution of pamphlets calling for “health before profits”.

In Mozambique  SINTICIM plans to raise awareness of occupational safety and health issues in Chinese companies.

In Namibia MANWU plans to raise awareness of occupational safety and health issues in the workplace distributing banners calling for enforcing compliance with OHS standards.

In Nigeria, the CCESSA will run a public conference on OHS in construction and the NUCEFWW will launch an awareness raising campaign on OHS.

In Senegal, the SNTC/BTP will run a seminar on OHS in the construction sector.

In Uganda, the UBCCEAWU will organise a campaign on compliance with OHS standards in Chinese multinationals In Zimbabwe, CLAWUZ and ZCATWU will run awareness raising campaigns on OHS


A regional OHS campaign is to be launched in Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Yemen and Bahrain. Details on activities are forthcoming.


In Bangladesh, BBWWF will organise a candle light procession on OHS at Dhaka followed by a public meeting at the Press Club.

In India, activities are being run in different States Tamil Nadu: TKTMS will organise a public meeting of construction workers in Villupuram

Gujarat: BMS will run a workshop on health and safety in partnership with the Contractors Association, Builders Association (Gujarat chapter) to be attended by OHS victims and their families. Unions will also file compensation cases for some victims and organise a road show on OHS at Ahmenabad.

Rajasthan: AHBWU will organise a silicosis awareness-medical check up camp for workers in three locations.

Kerala: KKNTC will organise a public meeting for construction workrs and distribute OHS awareness raising materials. The union will also submit a memorandum to the Mayor at Ernakulam.

Uttar Pradesh: CFBWU will run an awareness raising workshop followed by a candle vigil at Allahabad.

Karnataka State: KKNTC will organise a demonstration in front of the Labour Commissioner’s office for better OHS for construction workers, followed by the submission of a memorandum and a press conference.

In Nepal, the BWI Nepal Affiliates Committee will run health and Safety awareness activities and demonstrate protective equipment usage at a construction site of a member-contractor of Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN). In addition, CUPPEC will run an OHS awareness rally in five districts and CAWUN will organise a meeting in some construction sites.

In Pakistan, the PFBWW will be holding a health and safety seminar public meeting at the Tarbela Dam Extension Project located in Haripur district. The PCF will run a seminar on OHS for district leadership in Karachi.

In Sri Lanka, the NTUF will organise health and safety awareness sessions in three construction sites in Colombo.


In Brazil, several BWI affiliates will be mobilised for the day. SITICOMFLORIPA will organise an event with other unions in Brusque, Santa Catarina State, and will distribute flyers on OHS. SINTRAICCCM is running a month-long awareness campaign on OHS, which will conclude on April 28th with flyer distribution in an important square, run in conjunction with SINTECOMP.  SINTRACONST-ES will organise a workshop on mental health in working relationships. SITICOM-Chapeco will be running the Fourth edition of the National Seminar on work accidents’ prevention and workers’ health.

In Guatemala, the SINCS-G will release a press statement asking for compliance with national OHS law.

In Panama, SUNTRACS has run a month-long OHS campaign visiting worksites and holding debates with workers on OHS, labour inspectorates, organising picket lines and distributing OHS materials.

In Nicaragua, SNSCAASC will run assemblies in worksites on OHS. FITCM-N will organise a workshop on good practices on OSH.

In Dominican Republic, FENTICOMMC will run a capacity building workshop for leadership on Dominican Republic legislation.

In Honduras , SITRAINCEHSA will organise a minute of silence in the union and show posters of April 28th.

In El Salvador, SOICSCES will do an interview on OHS in Radio Arpas and run an awareness raising workshop for workers in a worksite.

In Costa Rica, a work stoppage will be organised so that workers can attend a presentation on OHS.

LO Norway looks at work and health ‘crimes’ on 28 April

LO logoLo and AOF is organising a meeting on this day where we want to focus attention on the challenges for Norwegian workers and also look into the international picture. The program includes posts about work and health, work-related diseases and injuries, and work life/work environment crime seen from both the parties and the Labour Inspectorate. We will also look at the experiences with collocation of the various agencies in the fight against labour crime. Webpage

Finland: A moment’s silence on Finland’s construction sites

Dear friends,

For your information here are the ads in different languages considering the workers memorial day.


yours, Tiina

Tiina Nurmi-Kokko
sosiaalisihteeri – socialsekreterare – social secretary, VTS
Rakennusliitto ry – Byggnadsförbundet rf – Construction Trade Union tiina.nurmi-kokko@rakennusliitto.fi

Tel:+358 20 774 3082. Fax:+358 20 774 3062

Europe: ETUC calls for new laws

Every year on 28 April, the trade unions stage an event to condemn deaths caused by work. This year, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has chosen to focus on the need to adopt new health and safety laws at EU level. “Workers need better protection. New laws are needed now,” said Esther Lynch, the ETUC Confederal Secretary in charge of occupational health and safety issues.

“The best way to protect workers from disease and injury is through laws at EU and national level. Health protection should not be deregulated or privatised. New technology and innovation have created, and medical research identified, new risks. Strong laws should be backed up by strong enforcement and a strong system of workplace health and safety representatives”, she added.

The ETUC calls more specifically for the European Union to adopt threshold limit values for occupational exposure to 50 carcinogenic substances. The European workers’ movement emphasises that every year 100,000 people die in the EU from cancers developed at work.

Besides dealing with occupational cancers, the ETUC also wants new regulations to be adopted to tackle workers’ exposure to nanoparticles, to psycho-social risks (including stress, violence and harassment) and to the development of musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, back and elbow pain.

To raise awareness, the ETUC will be organising an ‘online action’ from 18 to 28 April alongside trade union leaders who will be demanding new European health and safety regulations.

To find out more:

ETUC online action


USA: Reclaim labor, reclaim lives!


  WorkersMemorialDay_Flyer_Spanish   WorkersMemorialDay_Flyer

Join Worksafe, Street Level Health Project, and Centro Legal de la Raza for an evening of action and remembrance.

4:30 PM — Lake Merritt Amphitheater
Meet and march downtown
5:30-6:30 PM — City Hall
Rally & Memorial program

This year’s Worker’s Memorial Dayevent, Reclaim Labor! Reclaim Lives!is dedicated to honoring all the day laborers, immigrants, and low wage workers whose lives have been lost due to unsafe working conditions. We will come together in mourning and solidarity, and highlight the importance of the continuing fight for workers’ rights.

WorkersMemorialDay_simple4:30pm: Meet at the Lake Merritt Amphitheater (between 12th Street and 1st Ave. on Lake Merritt Blvd. in Downtown Oakland) and then march to City Hall (1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza).
5:30pm: Short memorial program featuring workers, labor, government agencies, and advocates.

A moment of silence will be observed to mourn workers who passed in the workplace in the prior year.

News release English • Spanish  • Website


Sweden: Allt åt alla Göteborg organise a rally for 28 April

Below is a message from Allt åt alla Göteborg. Further details are available  on their Facebook event page and website

“Come and honor the workers who have been killed, injured and worn out by their jobs, on our commemoration of Workers Memorial Day. A day when we commemorate the comrades who would still be among us, if their work had been safe. No one should die because of their job, no one should get sick from work. For workplace democracy and against the capitalists’ love of profits – come to our rally on 28 April.

The construction workers who build the houses we live in, people should really be rewarded – get exploited in cold blood, die or become seriously injured. In other industries such as health care, many people work under unreasonable pressure, and suffer premature wear due to the workload. Over 51 958 work accidents in Sweden were reported in 2013, and 55 workers are killed on average at their job every year. Our managers believe that our work must be more efficient. We do not think so. Every person is who murdered or injured in the workplace, is a person too many.

“We shall fight against downsizing, streamlining, increased workload and reduced influence and for workplace democracy. In the end, it is we who work who know how the work should be managed. The answer is economic democracy. That is to say that we who work should decide over the work. Democracy must not stop when one enters the workplace, that is where it should be practiced. It is we who are working who are affected by decisions taken at the workplace, which is why should we have control.

“Burned out, spent, exhausted…
It is difficult for someone who is already burned out to respond to these injustices as passivity, anxiety, fear and depression are already a fact. This, together with the learned helplessness and individualism which bourgeois society schools us into can only be defeated by a united struggle with our colleagues. These “accidents” and deaths are in fact calculated risks that the employer is willing to take for increased profits and maintaining power. We refuse to accept this. Remember the dead – fight with the living!

“There are many things we can do in the fight for better conditions and greater influence. Start a working association with colleagues, publish a workplace newspaper, or start a Facebook page. Whether it takes place inside or outside a union: find out what applies and make your demands openly with the attitude that we workers are always right in workplace conflicts, as it is we who essentially are the workplace.

“No one should die, be injured or become ill because of their job
Democratize our workplaces Increase penalties for – and – the managers responsible for the deaths and illnesses in the workplace
For workers’ power and solidarity.”

Spain: Unions challenge political parties with massive mobilisation on 28 April

Spanish national centers CCOO and UGT have started to visibilise their mobilisaton around 28th April with a round of meetings with political parties, expressing them the need to improve laws, enforcement and strengthening unions in order to secure occupational health and safety.

Actions are expected across Spain, with regions like Extremadura already planning a rally commemorating the 462 workers who have died since the adoption of the Spanish prevention law, highlighting the need to secure compliance and improvements to that framework.

You can read the joint CCOO-UGT Manifesto here

Another ITUC affiliate, USO will organise events under the slogan “No reps, no safety”, highlighting the importance of safety reps  and the need for workers’ participation in order to ensure healthy working conditions.

For more information on CCOO and UGT activities for this 28th April, please contact Mr Francisco Javier Torres Fernandez, jtorres@ccoo.es  and Emilio Gonzalez Vicente eigonzalez@cec.ugt.org

For USO activities, please contact Sara Garcia, s.saludlaboral@uso.es


Moldova: Meetings, services and victim support to mark 28 April

This April 28th, the National Trade Union Confederation of Moldova (CNSM) will be organising a series of events, including gathering with over 400 trade union representatives, State labour inspectors, social partners and representatives of dead and injured workers’ families, a memorial service and media reports. The union will also provide solidarity support for the victims’ families. More information will be released in the union’s website

Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living

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