As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, the Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI) will mark the International Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April with a week-long campaign on workers' health and safety starting on Monday.
With the theme "Protect workers. Stop COVID-19," BWI urges all its affiliates to take action to highlight the need to protect workers' health and safety from COVID-19. It said that the crisis has deeply affected the world's working population, including building and construction workers, and wood and forestry workers.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said that unions should maximise social media as a platform to communicate and broaden support for labour issues that were aggravated and put on center stage by COVID-19.
"Amidst the lockdowns and physical distance, we must not allow the pandemic to build walls and divisions among workers as we fight to ensure our health, safety and livelihood. In these trying times, we need to forge greater solidarity and unity by harnessing the power of social media,” Yuson said.
BWI has put together a list of campaign actions its affiliates can consider to carry out between 20 to 28 April. Some of these include webinars, video advocacies, petitions both online and off, and distribution of social media infographics, online campaign posters and training materials.
Yuson said that they will also pay tribute to all workers who have died due to poor occupational health and safety standards, including those who succumbed to COVID-19.
“We will never forget them. We will honour our dead by fighting for the living,” Yuson said.