Glasgow: The Get Me Home Safely campaign led by Unite hospitality workers has seen a new victory, as Glasgow City Council has passed a motion requiring hospitality businesses to provide free and safe transport home for late-night workers after 23:00. It will apply to any new alcohol licences, or existing businesses applying for extended operating hours. The call was led by hotel worker and Unite member Caitlin Lee, who was sexually assaulted as she was walking home after finishing her shift, after her employer had refused to pay for her taxi home.
Source: BBC News
UK: RECORD NUMBERS OF CONSTRUCTION SUICIDES
Suicides in the English and Welsh construction industries have hit their highest rate since analysis began, a Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) analysis has confirmed. The data, compiled by Professor Billy Hare, shows the suicide rate for construction occupations in England and Wales in 2021 was 34 per 100,000 in employment. This is the highest rate since analysis of the data began. The research identified that the number of suicides in construction in England and Wales rose from 26 to 34 per 100,000 in the seven years to 2021, meaning those in this industry were nearly four times more likely to take their own life compared to other sectors last year.
Source: GCU news release
CHINA: GARMENT FACTORY FIRE KILLS 38
China's worst workplace fire in nearly a decade killed 38 people after a fire in an undergarment factory staffed mostly by elderly women on 22 November. China Labour Bulletin reported the tragedy in the city of Anyang, Henan province: welding equipment ignited highly flammable cotton material on the ground floor of the warehouse. The blaze quickly consumed the entire two-storey building. Some 89 people escaped with their lives. The ground floor housed a warehouse operated by Kaixinda Trading Company, and the second floor was rented out by Kaixinda to three separate undergarment workshops.
Source: China Labour Bulletin
US: DEADLY COUNTERTOPS: ‘THE DUST NEVER, EVER STOPPED COMING’
Echoing the Australian experience, a story from Public Health Watch journalists describes how cutting slabs used as kitchen counters releases crystalline silica particles that can kill workers who inhale them. At least 30 countertop fabricators in the Los Angeles area have been diagnosed with an accelerated form of silicosis since January 2016. It’s believed to be the largest cluster of the disease in the United States. All the victims are relatively young Latino men who worked long hours under harsh conditions without complaint.
Source: Confined Space, Jordan Barab, 14 December