Global: WHO concedes respirators are necessary
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has conceded higher protection respirators are necessary to protect workers from COVID-19 in a wide range of health and care workplace settings. The new recommendation states staff should have access to properly fitted respirators.
Previously, the WHO has rejected or downplayed the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19, limiting the respirator recommendation to just medical ‘aerosol-generating procedures’ or surgical masks.
Turkey: Turkish metalworkers fight for a fair contract
Covering 142,000 metalworkers in more than 300 companies, Turkish metalworkers have commenced sector-wide collective bargaining. Since mid-December, metalworkers have carried out actions, urging employers to accept their demands against the backdrop of Turkey’s economic crisis.
The unions are demanding pay and benefit increases, an improvement of working hours, healthcare, and paid overtime.
Myanmar: Workers die in jade mines
The death of at least six jade miners in a landslide in Hpakant, Myanmar on 22 December 2021 highlights the urgent need to curb unsafe mining practices and protect miners’ lives, the global union IndustriALL has said.
The incident involved a landslide that occurred amid heavy rainfalls in the monsoon season. 70 jade miners were swept into a large mining pond. In 2020, more than 160 jade miners were killed in another landslide in Hpakant.
Studies had established that landslides were mainly caused by unsafe mining practices implemented by mining companies.