28 March 2019 20:51

Sunday 28th April is International Workers Memorial Day 2019, and Trade Unions all over the world are organising rallies and protest marches to reject dangerous working conditions in the building and timber trades.

Activities will take place from the Tuesday 23rd of April to Sunday 28th.

We know more than ever about hazards at work and all the measures and laws to prevent occupational deaths, injuries and ill health; yet, more than one hundred thousand building workers still die each year in entirely preventable “accidents” on site. Meanwhile, two million tons of chrysotile asbestos is being put into the built environment every year – guaranteeing a deadly legacy for building workers and the public. Workers in our sectors suffer daily exposure to hazardous and cancer-causing chemical products, like pesticides and organic solvents. But they are also exposed to hazardous dust, like asbestos, or silica, and dangerous processes exposing them to diesel or welding fumes.

Forestry is still notoriously dangerous, despite some improvements in standards on paper, the positive impact is undermined by the reliance of the industry on informal and subcontracting work to boost their profits.

The cement industry remains highly hazardous and accounts for hundreds of deaths in worksite accidents, and thousands of occupational diseases each year. The heavy use of outsourcing is largely responsible for the lack of coherent management of hazards at work, with almost all fatal accidents occurring among contracted and third-party workers. Precarious work in the sector is costing peoples’ lives.

The impact of bad working conditions takes its toll on the health of workers in all sectors BWI represent, from cement and brickmaking to wood processing and site labouring. The Trade Unions including BWI affiliates are ready, willing and able to help – but informal employment, subcontracting, union busting, and exploitative labour practices are undermining our efforts. That is why BWI affiliates are taking to the streets in protest for the week leading up to the 28th of April, International Workers Memorial Day.”

Take action for International Workers Memorial Day!

What you can do:

  • Hold tool-box safety and health trainings at the work site.

  • Conduct safety and health work-site visits and inspections.

  • Coordinate mass rallies and demonstrations in front of companies to protest their unsafe working conditions and poor safety records.

  • Hold vigils and commemorations for those who lost their lives or were injured.

  • Lobby for a ban on asbestos.

  • all for the removal of dangerous substances from the workplace to eliminate exposure to carcinogens in the work place

  • Spread your activities via social media using the #IWMD2019 @BWIGlobal

  • IWMD 2019 Posters are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, Swedish, Slovenian, Cyrillic, Serbian, Croatian, Korean, Hindi, Turkish and Arabic.

  • Read the infographic about Cancer and their Work Causes 

  • Check out the Global Action Map and the list of BWI activities to find an event near you.