Tag Archives: pandemic

Ireland: Patricia King’s tribute to workers on International Workers’ Memorial Day

The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins lays a wreath in the grounds of his official residence, in the presence of five workers who represent all those directly fighting the virus and working to sustain everyone else. Continue reading Ireland: Patricia King’s tribute to workers on International Workers’ Memorial Day

Australia: Unions call for compulsory Mental Health Code of Practice

Queensland Unions are calling for an enforceable mental health code of practice for all Queensland workplaces as communities confront challenges from the psychosocial hazards at work compounded by the psychological impact of coronavirus and bushfires.

This year’s Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April will focus on ensuring private and public sector workplaces acknowledge that they play a crucial role in the mental health of workers and their communities.

Workers Memorial Day in 2020 will be observed online, with a Facebook service at www.facebook.com/QueenslandUnions with prayers and messages of remembrance.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Michael Clifford said the mental health impacts of coronavirus and associated work pressures, as well as the bushfire season, is already leading to heightened anxiety and concern among workers, many of whom are particularly worried about their ongoing employment security.

“A mental health code of practice is as important as any specific industry code, like managing risks of falls from heights, working in confined spaces, or manual handling tasks.

“A code of practice will reinforce to employers their current duty of care to ensure psychological health under the Work Health and Safety Act in Queensland and provide important guidance on how to eliminate or minimise the risk of psychosocial hazards.

“Managing psychosocial hazards like client abuse or workload anxiety is just as important as managing physical hazards like falls from heights,” he said.

Research by mental health support service Beyond Blue says one in five Australians (21%) have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy.

Mr Clifford said mental ill-health also hurt employers, with a KPMG report in 2018 finding mental ill-health in the workplace costs an average of $3,200 per employee with mental illness, and up to $5,600 for employees with severe mental illness.

Suicide is also the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age.

Mr Clifford said there was an increased focus on psychosocial issues in workplaces.

For example, in some FIFO workplaces extended shifts are generating added stresses to workers and their families through social isolation and lack of support.

“Employers making changes to rosters and work practices can needlessly elevate stress and anxiety among workers, and also increase the risk of physical injury.”

Other workers are facing increased customer aggression within the COVID-19 environment escalating stress and anxiety levels for many frontline staff.

“It’s been a difficult year already in Queensland and Australia,” he said, “with loss of life and property experienced in the bushfires and now workers across many industries risking their health and safety to keep their communities safe and supplied.”

Last year 168 Australians were killed at work, and as at 17 April this year, 52 workplace fatalities have been recorded across the nation.

“Unions have always fought for stronger health and safety laws to make workplaces safer for workers and the public,” he said.

“Unions successfully called for industrial manslaughter laws in Queensland so that dodgy bosses go to jail if a worker dies in an unsafe workplace.

“There was a successful prosecution this year after a worker died in a forklift accident in Brisbane.

“With so many people experiencing rises in mental health illnesses such as anxiety from their work, a mental health code of practice will be just as important to ensure stronger workplace safety laws,” he said.


Global: Workers around the world send their 28 April messages [Video]

Italy: Cgil, Cisl and Uil say health and safety – and therefore prevention- as a right of all

The national secretaries of Cgil, Cisl and Uil Rossana Dettori, Angelo Colombini and Silvana Roseto remember on this April 28 #iwmd20 that “The first of the values of work and the essential condition for which it can fully deploy its potential is health and safety – and therefore prevention- as a right of all”. https://bit.ly/2WajOUG

Somalia: Workers in urgent need of protection from unsafe working conditions and infectious disease – FESTU

#Somali workers in urgent need of protection from unsafe working conditions and infectious disease #Somalia #IWMD20 #StopthePandemicAtWork https://www.festu.org/somali-workers-in-urgent-need-of-protection-from-unsafe-working-conditions-and-infectious-disease/ … @TheVillaSomalia

France: La sécurité et la santé au travail peuvent sauver des vies – CFDT

@CFDTsantesoc “la sécurité et la santé au travail peuvent sauver des vies” 28 avril commémoration des travailleurs décédés dans leur travail. Solidarité avec http://travailleurs.es  en Europe @EPSUnions @etuc_ces et mondiale @ituc @PSIglobalunion

Netherlands: Workers’ Memorial Day video message -FNV

Op deze Workers’ Memorial Day vertelt FNV-voorzitter Han Busker waarom het zo belangrijk is om stil te staan bij het grote aantal werknemers dat overlijdt door een beroepsziekte of een ongeval tijdens het werk. Juist ook tijdens deze coronacrisis. Neem dus een minuut de tijd om in stilte de slachtoffers te herdenken.

Belgium: Pour la reconnaissance du COVID-19 comme maladie professionnelle pour tous les secteurs essentiels | Centrale Générale – FGTB

L’épidémie de coronavirus qui sévit actuellement a soulevé la question de savoir si cette maladie peut être reconnue comme une maladie professionnelle dans certains cas. La position de la Centrale Générale – FGTB est ferme : le COVID-19 doit être reconnu comme maladie professionnelle pour tous les secteurs “essentiels”. Soutenez notre appel en signant notre pétition.

Le lundi 23 mars 2020, FEDRIS, l’Agence fédérale des risques professionnels, a confirmé que les personnes atteintes de COVID-19 (diagnostiquées par le test d’un laboratoire) qui travaillent dans le secteur des soins de santé et qui courent un risque nettement accru d’être infectées par le virus peuvent prétendre à une indemnisation pour maladie professionnelle. Ces dispositions concernent tout le personnel travaillant dans les hôpitaux en ce compris le personnel médical, paramédical, logistique et de nettoyage.

Maladie professionnelle pour tous les secteurs essentiels

Ce 28 avril, à l’occasion la journée mondiale pour les victimes d’accidents et de maladies professionnelles, la Centrale Générale – FGTB appelle FEDRIS à étendre cette reconnaissance à l’ensemble des travailleurs qui ont été exposés et contaminés par le virus du fait de leurs activités professionnelles dans les secteurs considérés comme « essentiels » aux termes de l’arrêté ministériel du 23 mars 2020 (Chimie, pétrole, gardiennage, construction,…)

Notre centrale s’engage à interpeller FEDRIS et la ministre de tutelle sur ce point que nous estimons légitime pour l’ensemble des travailleurs qui ont été contraints de prendre des risques.

Pour appuyer cette interpellation, nous vous invitons à signer massivement notre pétition ci-dessous et à la diffuser au maximum autour de vous.



Global: Unions demand recognition of COVID-19 as an occupational disease | IUF UITA IUL

The IUF joins with our sister international union organizations in calling for speedy official recognition of COVID-19 as an occupational disease by governments and national health and safety bodies. Official recognition of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 as a preventable occupational hazard, and work-related COVID-19 as a work-related disease, would require employers to take necessary measures to protect workers against the risk of exposure, establish liability for failure and provide compensation to workers and their families sickened and killed by COVID-19.

A short policy brief  explains how and why this recognition is needed to protect workers, their families and their communities.


Global: Trade unions across the globe are marking 28 April – ETUC

#IWMD20 Have a look at trade union actions across the world 28april.org

? Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living #Covid19 #Coronavirus