International News

GLOBAL: UNIONS IN ACTION TO STAMP OUT HARASSMENT

The ground-breaking work of unions to secure the ratification and implementation of a key International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention to tackle violence and harassment in the world of work has been captured by a new ITUC survey and report, as part of the ITUC’s #RatifyC190 campaign. The survey of 107 ITUC-affiliated unions in 70 countries revealed that 97 per cent of trade unions surveyed have worked to secure the ratification and implementation of Convention 190.

ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said: “We need to see governments and employers matching the activism of the trade unions. Governments must involve workers’ unions as social partners in social dialogue and collective bargaining and ratify and implement Convention 190 and Recommendation 206 as soon as possible. Employers must do the same by integrating C190 and R206 at sector and workplace level and ensure this happens throughout their supply chains.”

Source: ITUC news release

ARGENTINA: STRIKE WINS QUICK OFFSHORE SAFETY DEAL

Unions representing thousands of striking Argentine oil workers called off a strike one day after it started after a meeting with business leaders produced a deal on greater safety measures and training for employees. The strike was triggered by a fire in a storage tank which caused an explosion at the New American Oil (NAO) refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul in western Neuquen province, leaving three workers dead and one injured.

Union leaders, representatives of oil companies, and local government officials signed the deal designed to improve “training programmes and prepare active personnel and future workers on issues of on-the-job safety.” Prior to reaching the agreement, Marcelo Rucci, secretary general of the Private Oil and Gas Union of Rio Negro, Neuquen and La Pampa, the country's largest oil union, said: “We can't continue to lose lives to satisfy unrealistic production targets.”

Source: Reuters

EUROPE: NEW EU ASBESTOS LIMIT LEAVES WORKERS AT RISK

Responsible EU action on asbestos exposure could save up to 90,000 lives a year across Europe – but the European Commission has sided with business lobbyists who want to limit measures in order to save money.

A new European Commission proposal says the asbestos exposure limit should be reduced to 0.01 fibres/cm3, a tenth the current limit. However, the European Parliament had called for a new limit of 0.001 fibres/cm3, based on the recommendation of the International Commission of Occupational Health.

ETUC deputy general secretary Claes-Mikael Stahl said: “Unfortunately, the Commission have sided with business lobbyists over science in proposing a limit which would still leave many workers exposed to asbestos and at risk of developing cancer.” He added: “Trade unions will work with MEPs and ministers to improve this proposal and ensure workers, their families and taxpayers don’t have to keep paying the price for inaction over asbestos.”

Source: ETUC news release. European Commission news release. Politico.

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