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28 APRIL 2003
Workers' Memorial Day activities, 28 April 2003 from Fiona Murie, of the construction, forestry and building global union federation IFBWW.
IFBWW union affiliates in the wood, forestry and building trades are undertaking Workers' Memorial Day actions worldwide.
In the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Fiji, India, Nepal and Malaysia, affiliates are participating in "Run for your life" events, with each run starting at a workplace and ending with a union rally.
Another focus of the activities in Asia is health and safety training days, including eight sessions in India alone. In Indonesia, the run will end with the official opening of an IFBWW occupational health and safety training facility in central Java.
In Francophone Africa, there will be events in Mali, Niger and Burkino Faso and at least five other countries. In Ghana there is a tree planting ceremony, and in Zimbabwe and South Africa large union meetings are planned.
In Latin America, IFBWW affiliates will undertake Workers' Memorial Day activities in Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia and Brasil.
In the Middle East, IFBWW affiliates in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Israel have organised meetings and training sessions.
In Europe, IFBWW affiliates in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and the UK have indicated they too will be organising Workers' Memorial Day events.
So far 60 unions have confirmed that they will be participating, although IFBWW anticipates at least 100 unions will confirm they will be involved in Workers' Memorial Day events. Last year, 80 IFBWW union affiliates from over 40 countries were active in Workers' Memorial Day activities.
Fiona Murie, IFBWW Global Health and Safety Programme
28 April in Bulgaria
For the 8th year in Bulgaria CITUB will commemorate 28 April in memory of the workers who have died or been injured in labor accidents.
The initiatives organized by CITUB on 28 April are
2.At regional level
Labor accidents in Bulgaria:
For the period 1990-2002, 2076 Bulgarian workers died in labor accidents, 1376 of them died directly at their workplaces. For the same period 1322 workers became permanently disabled and 195,712 Bulgarian citizens have suffered labor accidents leading to temporary disability. The economy of the country lost more than 5,841,218 persons/days and several hundreds millions dollars non-produced GDP. In this period over 15,230 professional diseases were registered.
Today over 320,000 of about 2,600,000 persons insured for labor accidents work in unhealthy working conditions or at unacceptably high professional risk.
In 2002 there were 99 fatal accidents with most occuring in the construction and transpor sectors.
Since the beginning of 2003 there have been 32 fatalities in the construction, transport and other sectors of high professional risk.
High unemployment and the lack of alternatives for career development concern over 1 million citizens in active age. Many accept work at any cost and in any working conditions.
CITUB continues to isist before the legislative,
executive and judicial powers on:
Svetla Karova, chiaf expert, OHS & ecology, CITUB.
Activities on the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers
Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK) invited all workers on April 28 at 12 o'clock to mark a one-minute silence the annual commemoration day of working people who are killed, injured or become ill due to health and safety hazards at work.
Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation organized the meeting on the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers, in which representatives of the Republic of Lithuania of Public Work Inspection and Lithuanian Industrialists and business employers' Confederation participated.
Karolina Petraityte, International Secretary,
Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK)
Hoy 28 de abril dia mundial de la seguridad y salud en el trabajo
* CON EL DESEO DE OBTENER UN SALARIO Y BAJO PESIMAS CONDICIONES DE TRABAJO CADA AÑO MUEREN 350 MIL PERSONAS EN EL MUNDO.
* EN PERU HASTA EL MOMENTO EL GOBIERNO NO ESTABLECE UNA POLÍTICA SOBRE SEGURIDAD Y SALUD EN LOS CENTROS DE TRABAJO.
* TELEFÓNICA NO SE QUEDA ATRÁS EN ESTE CAMPO Y TRANSCURRIDO EL TIEMPO EN EXCESO AUN NO APRUEBA EL REGLAMENTO DE SEGURIDAD.
* LA CGTP, LOS SINDICATOS Y ORGANISMOS INTERNACIONALES DESARROLLAN CAMPAÑA PARA DISMINUIR ACCIDENTES Y MUERTES.
Según datos de la OIT cada año hay 250 millones accidentes de trabajo, de estos 350 mil acaban en muertes. Todos son víctimas de una política empresarial neoliberal que exige cada vez más flexibilización laboral para conseguir jugosas ganancias en condiciones ventajosas, mientras el trabajador es abandonado por el estado y los gobiernos a su propia suerte, obligándolo de esta manera a laborar en las mas precarias condiciones de trabajo, sin ninguna seguridad para la salud o la vida, causando la cantidad de los accidentes y muertes que la OIT reconoce mundialmente.
Nuestro país no es una isla, el neoliberalismo de Fujimori y sus herederos hacen lobby en el ejecutivo y legislativo para conseguir leyes laborales flexibles y en contra de los trabajadores, su seguridad, su vida y la de su familia; quienes finalmente sufren las consecuencias de un accidente de trabajo o las profundas ausencias y carencias que genera la muerte de uno de sus miembros. En Perú no hay un Registro Nacional de Accidentes y Muertes. EsSalud estima 10 mil accidentes anuales. Osinerg y el Ministerio de Energía y Minas estiman hasta 15 mil accidentes anuales.
Telefónica, como es natural, no tiene tampoco mucho interés en preocuparse de la seguridad de quienes trabajan para ella directa o indirectamente, como prueba palpable está el Proyecto de Reglamento de Seguridad, ofrecieron buscar un experto para apoyar y aprobarlo, el experto nunca llegó. La aprobación de lineamientos de seguridad sería algo beneficioso para todos los trabajadores de Telefónica, sindicalizados o no, los contratados, de cooperativas, etc., incluidos los trabajadores de la contratista, los menos favorecidos, quienes tendrían un margen de seguridad que hoy desconocen, para riesgo de sus vidas en cada día de trabajo.
La CGTP, organismos internacionales y sindicatos nacionales, entre ellos el nuestro, están desarrollando una campaña para lograr de las autoridades gubernamentales la creación de un registro nacional de accidentes de trabajo, consiguiendo de esta manera sacar a la luz la verdad sobre su número e incidencia en la incapacitación y muerte de trabajadores, desnudando de esta manera como la precarización y abaratamiento de la mano de obra que tanto busca el empresariado son la causa principal de estas altísimas tasas de inseguridad con resultados mortales.
¡¡NO MAS MUERTES POR ACCIDENTES DE TRABAJO!!
Comunicado Nº 107 Fundado el 23 de Septiembre de 1931 Afiliado a la CGTP Av. Uruguay 335 Teléfono 428-9965 Lima 1. PERU.
28 April in Czech Republic
We would like to inform you that the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) in line with the ICFTU call on activity on the occasion of the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized a seminar on 22 April 2003 opened by one minute of silence to commemorate the victims of occupational accidents.
The topics of this seminar were:
a. Stress at work, its reasons and consequences;
The representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Occupational Safety Research Institute, the Czech Authority of Safety Work, the Czech Mining Office Board, the Czech Health Office and the representative of employers organisations attended the meeting as well as regional and branch union inspectors on health and safety.
Vlastimil Beran, Head of the CMKOS International Dept.
Conmemoración 28 de abril
Together with our affiliate in Venezuela and their Construction Workers Federation, ORIT will hold a Candle Ceremony on 29.04.03.
Top leadership of ORIT, CTV and Construction Workers, the General Secretary of IFBWW Anita Normark (visiting Venezuela) and members of the press will be attending. In attachment please find ICFTU/ORIT statement (Spanish) on Conmemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers.
Trade union delegations gather
on 28 April to achieve sustainable workplaces for fairer social and economic
The first trade union delegation will assemble at the United Nations in New York to advance a world agenda for 'sustainable workplaces' with Ministers attending the Eleventh Annual Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), the first such meeting since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) met in South Africa last summer. The official opening of this session is on 28 April.
On the same day, a delegation of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) will be discussing the outcomes of their meeting with French President Jacques Chirac that takes place on Friday. The follow-up 28 April session concerns their preparations for next June's G8 Evian Economic Summit, and takes place on the eve of a consultation with an OECD Ministerial Council where TUAC members will promote the further integration of sustainable development with trade and investment policies. They will also call for the strengthening of multilateral processes such as the UN CSD and for decent work policies to enable the implementation of WSSD outcomes, through concrete activities at the workplace and community levels.
Also on 28 April, a group of trade unionists will participate in a special tri-partite panel with employers and governments organized by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland, convened to address some of the worst examples of unsustainable workplaces on the health of workers, across all industrial sectors and affecting all age categories, including child workers.
The ILO meetings will take place against a backdrop of national and local activities organised by workers in over 100 countries to observe 28 April as the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers. They include workers who have died (over 2 million), become ill (over 160 million) or injured (over 1.2 million) in the past 12 months due to unsustainable forms of production. Activities -large and small- are expected to take place on every continent and region of the world.
Trade unions link concrete workplace action plan to political policy, economic development, trade and investment
Since the earliest sessions of the UN CSD, trade unions have highlighted the plight of dead and injured workers to demonstrate the human toll caused by unsustainable workplaces and unacceptable forms of production. The trade union movement is putting forward a positive "Workplace Assessment" programme of action to integrate occupational and public health programs along with social issues and WEHAB (Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity) priorities.
The over 400 trade union representatives who attended last year's WSSD called for more integrated approaches to planning the world's future. The General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Guy Ryder, points out that since the WSSD, "we are working to show the concrete links between activities in the world's workplaces with broader policy issues at the WTO, the international financial institutions and other global bodies".
John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), summarises the core message for Ministers attending OECD meetings in Paris as follows, "Trade unions world-wide want decent work programmes to strengthen sustainable development and democratic frameworks, whilst reducing the gaps between industrialized, developing and transition countries." In the written submission to ministers, TUAC will call on them to help deliver "Sustainable Development and a Fair Trade System" through concrete actions. It proposes to reiterate its message at the G8 Economic Summit in Evian next June.
Bjorn Erikson, Provisional Chair of the Working Party which brings together the world's trade unions on occupational health, and safety and environmental issues, puts the 28 April meetings and activities in context. "Between the lines of statements and protocol, there is the reality of the dead and injured victims due to unsustainable workplaces and the ugly spread of suffering and poverty. We have to transform this reality and put it on track for a positive future".
"The three 28 April trade union gatherings will each involve separate activities", he said. "Unions around the world will also act together on that day to strengthen the call by workers for safer workplaces and by other stakeholders for sustainable development implementation plans that are democratic, participatory, and supported by adequate economic resources."
For further information call:
The following is some information on Workers' Memorial Day in Thailand.
Regards Phil Drew
Memorial Day: Some Thai activities
The period around 28 April: the ICFTU International Workers' Memorial Day is a packed one for Thai trade unionists and worker NGOs this year. It is the 10th anniversary of the worst 'accident' in the history of the textile, clothing and footwear industries. The 10th anniversary of the Kader Toy Factory (10
May 1993) blaze in which 188 workers (174 women) died and 494 were injured (many now paralysed from injuries sustained when jumping from as high as four floors) has an active calendar of events. The first item in the calendar was a little publicised court case. In this case, which has taken almost ten years to bring on: the Nakhon Pathom Court last month sentenced Viroj Yusak, a worker, to 10 years in jail for causing the fire by smoking. The court also fined Kader Industrial 520,000 baht. But the other defendants, including engineer Pisut Kanokakorn, managing director Pichet Laokasem and Si Ying Po, a company shareholder, were acquitted.
Bangkok Post 22 April 2003.
RECENT AND FORTHCOMING EVENTS
Other items in the calendar have been planned by a group of trade unions and NGOs they include:
2 March A seminar to review the Taksin's ( Prime Minister) government policy - organised by Local Thai groups.
20 April Seminar Looking back at Kader - what has Thai society learnt?
25 April ILO/OHSEI World Day on Safety and Health at Work.
27 April A workshop on Kader's victims' stories - organised by Friends of Women.
4 May A seminar on the 10 years after Kader fire - organised by Arom Pongpangan Foundation.
9 May Activity: Improving occupational health and safety outcomes: Prevention through organisation - organised by OHSEI (The Asian Workers' Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Institute).
10 May Whole day activities in front of Kader factory (religious ceremony, opening the memorial monument, demonstration, submit demands to the government, etc).
11 May Seminar on Victim's Stories of work-related diseases and environment cases - organised by WEPT.
In addition workers will take up occupational health and safety during May Day and during the National Safety Week activities.
The Asian Workers Occupational Health, safety and
environment institute, Sindhorn Building 15th Fl., Tower 3, 130-132 Wittayu
Rd. Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 THAILAND.
ICFTU report on Kader fire
Preparations for observing Workers Memorial Day in Bangladesh
In order to effectively observe the workers Memorial Day-2003, following events will be organised in Bangladesh:
1. Workers Rally on 28 April by Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) in Mirpur Industrial Area, Dhaka.
2. Discussion programme on 'Workers Memorial Day -2003' by Bangladesh Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Forum (Bangladesh OHSE Forum) at Purana Paltan, Dhaka
We will send you a detail report after the programme.
A.R. Chowdhruy ReponInternational Secretary of BFTUC and General Secretary ofthe Bangladesh OHSE Forum
Worker Memorial Day-2003 observed in a befitting
As a part Workers Memorial Day, 28 April 2003, the following organizations carried out various programmes to mark the day on befitting manner.
1. Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) organized a rally at Mirpur Industrial Area of Dhaka on 28 April to mark the Workers Memorial Day-2003.
The rally started at 10pm at Kafrul area of Mirpur and moved to local streets and industrial areas nearby. Large numbers of ordinary workers from different sectors, BFTUC leaders, OHS trainers and activists attended the rally chanting for a safe work place, enforcement of OHS laws and employer responsibility on safety issues.
2. Bangladesh Occupational
Health, Safety and Environment Forum (Bangladesh OHSE Forum)
Engineer Kabir Hossain chaired the programme. Dr. Badrul Munir (MPH) and Advocate Ali Zinnah took part in the discussions with highlighting the importance of observing the day globally and specially in Bangaldesh.
The speakers stressed the need for applying health and safety policy and law at national level, the need for proper enforcement of existing OHS laws at workplaces and the demand for more coordinated work on this issue at national level.
The secretary of the Bangladesh OHSE Forum A.R. Chowdhury Repon in his speech explained the background of the OHSE forum, highlighted its aims, objectives and activities. He informed the participants that it is a specialized campaign forum which established with the initiative of a group of POSTIVE health and safety trainers and OHS professionals (i.e. Engineers, Medical Doctors, Academics and OHS activists) to work only on OHSE issue at national and sector level.
In his speech Mr. Repon said, this is just a beginning of our journey; we have go for long way with more new challenges on health and safety issues in Bangladesh and we have to work under the umbrella of Bangladesh OHSE Forum at national level in order to achieve our common goal on OHS issue in Bangladesh.
The chairperson Eng. Kabir Hossain in his concluding speech said, Bangladesh OHSE Forum would act as a focal pint on health and safety issues in Bangladesh and hoped that the Forum will observe the Worker Memorial Day with more coordination in the next year ensuring broader participation of organizations, professionals and individuals work on OHS issues in Bangladesh.
Workers' Memorial Day activities in Hungary
MSZOSZ Conference – remember the injured 28. April – International Day of Mourning
The National Confederation of Hungarian Trade Unions - MSZOSZ - will organise on the 28th April a tripartite conference on the occasion of the international Day of Mourning.
The conference will be held at the MSZOSZ headquarters between 9.00 – 14.00. (Budapest, VIII. Magdolna u. 5-7.)
The conference will be opened by Tamás Wittich, MSZOSZ president followed by Mr. András Békés, president of the National Labour Safety and Health Directorate, the employer and workers spokespersons of the National Labour Safety Committee (Mr. Gábor Palotás and Mr. Gábor Borhidi respectively. Annie Rice, senior expert of the ILO –CEET will present the ILO position to the issue of the day, followed by Prof. Ferenc Juhász and prof. György Ungváry, Director of the Public Health Service.
The conference will focus on the employer accountability, the relation between legistlation and the everyday practice and will attempt to call the attention to the responsibilities of all sides with respect to safe and quality jobs.
At the end of the conference a press conference will be held with a candle lighting cermony to commemorate the dead and injured.
During the day memorial meetings will be held at former accident sites around the country.
Budapest, 2003. április 25.
For further informations contact Károly György (+36 30 92 11 189), firstname.lastname@example.org
LO Sweden investigation report for incidents and accidents at work. [pdf]
Sweden - LO Sweden briefing from Workers' Memorial Day
The Swedish Trade Union Confederation is joining in the ICFTU’s annual initiative ”Workers’ memorial day” and from 2003 will keep 28 April as a memorial day.
On 28 April 2003, 19 Work Environment Days will take place all over Sweden on the theme of: Why do so few workplace accidents lead to prosecution?”
The day will start in all these places with a minute’s silence at 10 a.m. for those who have died or been injured at work.
Swedish statistics and where are the inadequacies:
In 2002 a total of 60 people - gainfully employed - employees and self-employed were killed at work.
Many accidents are due to deficient risk assessment. The employer, who has the main responsibility under the Swedish Work Environment Act and its regulations, often has not taken the measures necessary to ensure that the work can be carried out safely.
Seen over time the number of fatal accidents has fallen considerably. Among employees (who are covered by the Work Environment legislation) on average the number was 190 per year between 1970 - 79, 99 per year between 1980 - 89 and between 1990 - 99 there were 86 cases. In the first three years of this century the average number was 45.
We cannot accept that people die at their workplaces, there are many high-risk industries, violence and threats at the workplace affect a growing number. By systematically mapping all risks, assessing and dealing with them, the number of serious workplace accidents can be further reduced. The systematic health and safety work must be part of the daily activities and cover all factors, not least organizational. Often pressure of time, deficient communication at the workplace and unclear routines in combination with deficient safeguards are behind the accidents.
Here part of reducing accidents must be to spread knowledge of the entire chain of events behind an accident.
What we are also seeing is that few workplace accidents lead to prosecution. The Swedish Work Environment Authority’s records show that in 1999 there was a total of 56 Work Environment judgements and court orders for work environment offences and offences against the Work Environment Act in Sweden. The corresponding figure for 2000 was 54 and for 2001, 66.
This should be compared with the fact that in 2001 there were 54 deaths at work and in 2002 the figure was 60.
Some prosecutors state that they notice intense activity among employers when they start a preliminary investigation. Here they believe that if the risk of sanctions were greater than it is today then this would be an effective way of getting companies to invest in a good working environment.
Those taking part on the day in all locations are:
The Police Authorities, Work Environment Prosecutors, Work Environment Inspectors, Social Democratic members of parliament, the local press, LO affiliates’ work environment officers or LO’s central Work Environment Officers.
All kinds of safety representatives within LO, youth officers within LO’s trade union branches.
The number of participating safety representatives on the day is 1,160. So far we have noticed enormous interest among safety representatives, but the media have also started to report that LO in Sweden is joining in the Workers’ Memorial Day.
The programme is the same in all the locations and starts at 10 a.m. with:
”A minute’s silence for those killed and injured at workplaces”
The work and role of the Police in workplace accidents
The work and role of the Work Environment Inspectorate in workplace accidents
The role of the Work Environment Prosecutor when legal action is taken
The role of politicians in the necessary tightening up of legislation
What problems do the safety representatives see?
- The actions of employers when a workplace accident occurs
- Inadequate preliminary investigations on the part of the police
- Work environment prosecutors who bring legal action but no-one is found guilty - What can be done better
- How can the knowledge of the safety representatives be utilised in the investigations
Everything will be documented on the day and LO’s Work Environment Group will note the inadequacies that emerge in the work with the various authorities and on the political level.
International Workers Memorial Day 28th April
Children from Balbardie Primary School joined Trade Unionists and Politicians and members of the public today to remember workers who died through work related injury or illness.
The youthful theme was continued when piper Isla Frank from the junior section of Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, played the lament to conclude the service.
Trade Union Council Secretary Jim Swan said "It was really good to see such a good attendance at the event on a cold and wet afternoon and the political parties put their differences aside to join us in remembrance."
Guest speakers included Sandy Boyle President of the Scottish Trade Union Congress laid out the STUC's programme for lobbying on workplace health & safety issues. These included stronger legislation for corporate manslaughter, the right for safety representatives to serve Provisional Improvement Notices (PINs) on their employers when they found unsafe work practices or workplace processes.
Cathy Peattie indicated that it was her intention, if re-elected, to lodge a private members bill calling for a Scottish Health & Safety Commission which could commission inquiries into health and safety matters specific to Scotland. The Bill would also call for recognition of "International Workers' Memorial Day". Both speakers noted the presence of the primary school children at the ceremony.
Surprise guest speaker Paul Holleran, Scottish Secretary of the National Union of Journalists reported that 138 journalists and media representatives had been killed following their occupation internationally. Referring to the war in Iraq he said that free lance journalists, who sought to find the truth about the actions and incidents of the war, had been in greater danger than the so called imbedded reporters who had a measure of protection from the coalition troops. Paul said "The first victim of any war is the truth and my colleagues tried to rectify this."
West Lothian Trade Union Council
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