IWMD: “Strong laws. Strong enforcement. Strong unions.”


The BWI is pleased to confirm the international theme for the upcoming 28 April 2016, International Workers’ Memorial Day, “Strong laws. Strong enforcement. Strong unions.”


The reason why these concepts are highlighted is clear:

Strong laws because across the world workers either have inadequate legal protection from potentially deadly risks to their health at work, or existing safety protection is under threat from governments intent on deregulation.


Strong enforcement because we know that, even if we have health and safety laws in place, these are of no use if they are not enforced. Many countries pay lip service to legislation but allow employers to ignore their obligations and put the health and safety of their workforce at risk. The degradation of labour inspectorates is part of these worrying trends.


Strong unions because they are the best protection for workers. Workplaces that have strong union representation have much lower fatality, injury and ill-health rates than those that do not. Yet many countries are bringing in anti-union laws, are trying to replace unions with in-house “staff associations” hand-picked by employers or introducing other forms of “participation” as a way of keeping out unions.


Please ensure you send us the details of your planned activities, any resources and artwork you produce for 28 April 2016. You are invited to send them to us by email fiona.murie@bwint.org


We will post all these materials on the BWI website and the joint ITUC/Hazards 2016 28th April website, www.28april.org


Background materials will be produced for the day. If you have concrete cases, experiences related to the theme that you would like to see in our materials, please send them as soon as possible.