Yesterday was Workers Memorial day and there were many services all over the world.
It was wonderful to see so many people also calling for a World Wide ban of Asbestos as so many workers have been struck down with Mesothelioma while working.
Kathleen Ruff is a senior human rights adviser at the Rideau Institute, Ottawa, Canada, and founder and co-coordinator of the Rotterdam Convention Alliance. She has worked intensively for the past nine years with scientists in Canada and around the world to stop the use of asbestos.—a call for action on this hazardous substance
The United Nations Rotterdam Convention regulates trade in hazardous substances. It requires exporting countries to obtain prior informed consent from any country to which they wish to ship a substance on the convention’s list of hazardous substances. Thus the convention empowers countries to protect their populations by refusing or setting conditions over the import of hazardous substances.
Yet for over 10 years, a tiny number of countries have refused to allow chrysotile asbestos to be put on the convention’s list, even though the convention’s expert scientific body has repeatedly recommended its listing, stating that chrysotile asbestos meets the convention’s criteria for listing
At the convention’s conference in Geneva this week and next week (from 24 April to 5 May), the recommendation to list chrysotile asbestos will once again be put forward. The convention will also consider a proposal by a dozen African countries to amend the convention to allow a 3/4 majority vote to list a hazardous substance if consensus proves impossible
The Rotterdam Convention was specifically created to address the double standard whereby hazardous chemicals and pesticides that are banned or severely restricted in industrialized countries are increasingly being shipped to developing countries, where there are few resources to manage them safely. Thus, as populations in the global North gain greater protection from harm from hazardous substances, populations in the global South are increasingly exposed to such harm. The Rotterdam Convention seeks to stop this injustice by providing the modest but critical right of prior informed consent.
A dear friend Bradford Terry Britton spoke in Bradford of Australian Lou Williams who sadly lost her 15 year old Battle with Peritoneal and then secondary Pleural Mesothelioma.
He also spoke about my fight with Pleural Mesothelioma and my survival to date.
I hunted for a meet here in Kent but I don’t think we have one so I stayed on Social Media and tweeted all the news.
A POIGNANT service was held in Bradford today to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day.
Members of Bradford branches of trade unions including Unite, the GMB union and the Public and Commercial Services Union, gathered for the service, organised by Bradford Trades Union Council.
The union representatives left a red rose each at a memorial stone in Norfolk Gardens, where the service was held, under the motto: “Remember the dead: fight for the living”.
Workers’ Memorial Day is held on April 28, every year, when workers and their representatives hold events, demonstrations, vigils and other activities to mark the day. This year’s theme was good health and safety for all workers.
Carol Duerden, hazards convenor for Bradford Trades Union Council, said 144 people in the UK were killed at work during 2016.
During her speech she read out family members’ accounts of losing a relative at work.
She said: “Bradford was one of the first cites in the UK to represent for this event.
“We have been marking this day since 1991.
“If we are to fight for the living, we must also remember work-related suicide and workplace bullying.
“We will continue to work to never again have a loved one be seen off by their family in their work van and die at work.
“We know that a union workplace is a far safer workplace for people.”
Terry Britton, 73, of Tong Street, Bradford, is a former textile worker and represented Unite at the service.
He said: “It is important that health and safety is the forefront of everything for workers now.”
“It is important we remember those who have been killed at work due to a lack of health and safety, support or management.”
Meanwhile, Keighley Trades Union Council held ceremonies.
Student representatives from Holy Family School were among those gathering in Cliffe Castle Park.
A service was held in Keighley Town Hall Square, where there is a garden dedicated to Keighley man Steven Allen and others killed in the workplace.
Mr Allen was 23 when he died at work, on March 9, 2007, when his head was crushed by a grab machine on a Bradford building site.
At a subsequent court hearing in 2012 his employers were fined more than £100,000 for causing his death.