Global: Workers' Memorial Day Activities 2006
Building and Wood Workers International focuses
28 April activities on world-wide asbestos ban campaign
BWI: The Building and Wood Workers International is organising
a world-wide series of activities around 28 April all aimed at calling
on governments and employers to commit to a global ban on the production,
import, export and use of asbestos products.
On 28 April itself, about one hundred building industry unions
belonging to the BWI will take part in a wide range of activities,
from small and large rallies to educational and training events,
including basic information dissemination, through public and membership
Canadian backing for the asbestos industry will be made a specific
trade union target, as the BWI will mobilize its members around
the world to engage in peaceful demonstrations and petitions at
its Embassies and Consulates to convince the Canadian government
to call a halt to its aggressive marketing and promotion of asbestos
in such developing countries as India, Zimbabwe and Brazil.
BWI General Secretary Anita Normark appeals to all trade unions
to join these efforts. Referring to the June 2005 Global Unions
kick-off of the campaign for a total ban on asbestos, she said,
“We now invite national affiliates of all unions to join our
effort to impress upon the Canadian government, wherever its representatives
are located, that the world is watching.”
A BWI 28 April briefing note includes the news that there are now
more deaths from mesotheliomas than from falls in construction.
At shocking world-wide figure of 100, 000 people each year, deaths
from asbestos related diseases now outstrip deaths from industrial
accidents in some countries. "Today's exposures guarantee an
epidemic lasting at least another generation, with the asbestos
graveyards shifting from the developed to the developing world,"
The BWI will make information available in a number of events planned
around the world. A regional asbestos meeting in Sao Paulo on the
20 and 21 April will be followed by a number of construction safety
meetings in that region. As well, several regional affiliates will
attend meetings during Argentina’s Health and Safety Week
beginning on 25 April, where the focus will be on occupational carcinogens.
Activities are also planned in Southern Africa, Francophone Africa
and several Asian countries.
BWI affiliates, trade unions and all other supporters are invited
to access the BWI’s new website which contains comprehensive
news on 28th April, including a briefing on asbestos, model letters,
a “BAN ASBESTOS POSTER 2006”, and other Occupational
Safety & Health information. See: www.bwisafety.org