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28 April 2006

Worldwide millions die each year as a result of workplace hazards. Most do not die of a mystery ailment or in a tragic "accident". They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn't that important a priority. The global trade union movement wants employers to be accountable for workers' health and safety. Key themes for 2006 are "union workplaces - safer workplaces" and to push for a global ban on asbestos.

The ILO and 12 countries have formally recognized 28 April as their occupational health and safety observance day, and trade unions are supporting moves to have the United Nations formally recognize 28 April as an international commemoration day.

For 28 April IHLO has produced the following materials including an interview with Elizabeth Tang of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.

Long distance bus driver in South China

*Campaign in Hong Kong for recognition of 28 April

*Statement of the Hong Kong Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims

*Tatami Matting workers in Zhejiang province fight for compensation

*Interview with Elizabeth Tang, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)

*Asbestos in China
To link up with the global fight against asbestos which is one of the main themes of the 2006 Workers Memorial Day, IHLO has produced a short survey of asbestos related issues in China. China is one of the largest producers and consumers of asbestos. Hundreds of thousands of workers are exposed to asbestos in mines and in manufacturing. Reports have also surfaced of the nature behind China’s largest asbestos mine – a prison camp in Sichuan – where most prisoners worked 15 hour days with no or little proactive clothing or equipment. More

Resources and information

ICFTU Statement for International Memorial Day 2006

Campaigns: Gold Peak battery workers in Guangdong (to come) :: Gemstone workers campaign (to come)

Petition calls for global asbestos ban : An international petition is aiming to promote the union-driven campaign for a global asbestos ban. The petition will be presented to key international agencies on 28 April, International Workers' Memorial Day. The petition includes this pledge: 'In the spirit of humanity and equality, we declare that each human being has the right to live and work in a healthy environment. It is not acceptable that a substance which is too harmful to be used in the European Union is used in Asia, Africa and Latin America... a global asbestos ban is the first step in the campaign to rid humanity of the threat it faces from asbestos. To end the asbestos scourge, we pledge our commitment to work together to achieve our goal. The struggle continues”.

Building and Wood Workers International Targets Asbestos Industry for World Asbestos Ban Campaign
ICFTU Resolution on Global Asbestos Ban


27 April 2006


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