April 28th: Unions make work safer: A Death, A Stoppage!

Continuing the celebration of April 28th, the date intended to remember and pay tribute to workers who have been victims of occupational accidents, occupational diseases, disability and death because of their work activities, this year 2014, affiliated unions of the Building and Wood Workers` International (BWI) raised their voices to perform specific actions together with its affiliates.

On the Andean Area, in Venezuela, the Union of Professional, Technician and Administrative Workers in the Wood and Allied Industries (SUNTIMAVEN) presented a 3 minutes video alluding to occupational accidents in the furniture industry in Venezuela in order to alert workers and employers on the monitoring of standards to avoid accidents. Similarly, related materials distributed to April 28th and policies of accident prevention. Meanwhile, the Federation of Workers in the Stell, Electricity and Mechanical Engineering Industries in Colombia (FETRAMECOL) brought workers at its headquarters in Bogotá to exchange successful experiences in preventing accidents and seek mechanisms to appropriate the provisions in the current legislation.

On Central America, the Union of Construction Workers of Panamá (SUNTRACS) marched nationwide and created a mural commemorating of April 28th.

The National Construction and Services Union of Guatemala (SINCS -G) held a mobilization of between 500-1000 workers belonging to different branches and sectors, with the aim of spreading their targets fight celebration April 28th.

The National Trade Union of Carpenters; Bricklayers and Allied Trade Unions (SNSCAASC) held sessions and meetings on Occupational Safety in the workplace between April 21th and April 28th, and reached 28th, conducted a one-hour walk in the draft of the new Supreme refinery dream of Bolivar, in Port Sandino.

The National Unitary Trade Union of Construction Workers and Related from Costa Rica (SUNTRACS) and the National Union of Public Works and Transport from the same country (UNATROPYT) conducted standstills for 1 hour each in two important works which they have affiliates, while jointly delivered a letter to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of Costa Rica and Costa Rican Construction Chamber to serve as initial lobby for the ratification of the ILO's 162 and 167 Conventions.

On the other hand, the Union of Workers in the Construction and Allied Industries from El Salvador (SOICSCES) made short work of assemblies in 10 minutes to educate workers on the 28th.

The National Federation of Workers in the Construction, Wood and Cosntruction Materials Industries from Dominican Republic (FENTICOMMC) developed a workshop on April 28th and 29th in Boca Chica about Hygiene and Occupational Health. This activity is organized and conducted by the union every year.

While in the multilingual Caribbean, the National Federation of Construction Workers from Haiti (FENATCO) developed its first seminar in memory of the deceased workers and/or injured in construction. At the same time they held a press conference for 2 days about April 28th.

On the Mercosur area, the Union of Construction Workers of the Republic of Argentina (UOCRA), for a full week developed assemblies and meetings in workplaces and in their different sectionals involving directives of its affiliates commissions.

A further way, this year designed a banner for your web pages in order to disseminate and raise awareness of labor rights related to occupational health and safety of the workers , with the slogan "Unions make work safer" - "Protecting workers in the world with strong regulations , implementation and union rights".

By April 30th, Construction and Allied Workers' Union from Argentina (UECARA) conduct a discussion about Accident Prevention at Workplaces.

Adherence to "Decent Work Agenda" driven by the ILO and the "Eleventh Argentinan Week of Health and Safety at Work", sponsored by the Superintendency of Occupational Risks, UECARA launch this year's campaign "Train is Building".

The National Federation of Construction Workers, Industrial Assembly and others from Chile (FETRACOMA) conducted a national mobilization for April 28th in conjunction with the Central Union CUT Chile. Also in Chile, the National Confederation of Forestry Workers (CTF) led a Public Announcement to the press and trade unions on the importance of accident prevention. The same day delivered leaflets on this subject in the center of the city of Concepcion.

In Peru, the Ceramics Workers Union of San Lorenzo SAC (SINTRACESANLO) and the Union of Workers of the Peruvian Factory Eternit (SINTRAFAPESA) convened to mobilize its members and created commemorative banners in celebration of April 28th.

And in the same country, the National Federation of Workers in the Wood Industry (FENATIMAP) made a commemorative Rally and Pucallpa.

This April 28th, Brazilian unions affiliated to the BWI also were made to listen.

The Federation of Workers in Construction and Wood Furnitures Industries of the State of Santa Catarina (FETICOM-SC) participated in the Public convened by the Central Act in memory of the victims of diseases and accidents at work.

The Federation of Workers in Construction and Wood Furnitures Industries of the State of Parana (FETRACONSPAR) performed the V Enhancement Seminar on Health and Safety at Work, on April 24th and April 25th in Curitiba, Paraná, in celebration of April 29th.

The Federation of Workers in the Construction Industry and Securities of the States of Pará and Ampara (FETRACOMPA) conducted a seminar on health and safety at work, while also developed a political act in the Cathedral Square, downtown the capital Belém, to denounce the poor working conditions that persist on the evolution of the state of Pará, Brazil and worldwide.

While the Union of Workers in the Construction Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Construction (SINTEPAV-SE) developed two assemblies with workers of the major works which have union representation.

To mark this important date for the union movement, BWI congratulates each of the unions that worked on this past April 28 and urges them to continue working for the benefit of workers in the construction world.