The BWI and Australian affiliates commit to work towards a legal ban across the Asia-Pacific region.
Building and Wood Workers’ International will strongly support moves to secure a legal ban on the use of asbestos in Asia-Pacific countries, BWI Regional Representative Apolinar Tolentino told the 3rd International Asbestos Awareness and Management Conference hosted by Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency held on 14th November in Adelaide, Australia. The stance was strongly supported by the Swedish Electricians Union, the Electrical Trade Union Australia and the Construction and General Division of the CFMEU.
“A legal ban is one of the many measures we are working towards in our mission to eradicate the menace of asbestos from our workplaces and our lives,” said Brad Parker, National Assistant Secretary of Construction and General Division of CFMEU. “We also need to promote substitute materials, create and strengthen our regional and country-level ban networks, redouble our medical surveillance efforts, establish partnership with victims’ families, and, most importantly, organise and educate workers employed by the asbestos industry itself.”
“The aggressive propaganda of the chrysotile industry promoting ‘the safe use of asbestos’ must be countered and debunked as straight lies”, Parker added while addressing the Conference participants during the panel discussion on International Campaign to Ban Asbestos.
“Working families and communities’ welfare should not in any way be sacrificed for the profits of chrysotile industry and their cohorts in the government authorities”, declared Sebastian Brandt, an activist and Safety Officer from Swedish Electrical Union.
Together with the Australian trade unions the BWI has declared full support to work its affiliates and partner unions in Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor Leste, and Vietnam to attain legal bans on asbestos in each of those jurisdictions.