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Day Of Action Against Health And Safety Cuts Called For By TUC

Hugh RobertsonTUC head of safety Hugh Robertson says unions and safety campaigners must expose, discredit and take action to undermine these deadly developments.

The TUC wants to use 28 April 2012 as the day when workers up and down the country take action to protect our health and safety.

This is International Workers Memorial Day and, although the TUC has traditionally called for activity to take place in the workplace, in 2012, 28 April falls on a Saturday and many workplaces will be closed. So we will instead be asking unions, trades councils, and others to make 28 April 2012 a “Day of activity to defend health and safety”.

"Given that the government intends to plough ahead with a cut of 50% in health and safety legislation according to Employment Minister Grayling, it is of paramount importance that all those concerned about health and safety at work join with the TUC to hold demonstrations and marches on the 28th April 2012." said Derek Maylor, Chair of the NW BTU Health & Safety Co-ord.

The call by the TUC, in the article on the Hazards website continues:

Events can include vigils, marches, meetings, lobbies, or simple services with a minute’s silence, however the focus should be to get far more people involved in these local activities than in previous years, and with more publicity. We want to focus on local activities because more people can take part and local MPs  - and the local press - are more likely to take notice.

To help build an effective day of action, there will be a meeting of activists held in every region of England as well as in Wales. The Scottish TUC will also be organising support for the day. In the fortnight before 28 April, unions will be asked to lobby local MPs. Most MPs surgeries fall on a Friday so there should be a lot on 27 April. 

What do we want?

* No reduction in the legal protection for workers on health and safety. It is not a “burden on business” to protect the lives and health of workers.

* Those who create the risk must be held accountable. We need harsher penalties for those that break the law and a legal duty on those at the top of organisations who make decisions.

* No freedom from inspections and an increase in inspector numbers. Small businesses and the self-employed often create much higher risk. No business should be exempt from inspectors having the right to inspect them, but we also need enough inspectors to do the job.

Hazards We Didn't Vote To Die At Work campaign* Recognition and support for the role that union safety representatives play. Unionised workplaces are safer. It is time the government publicly acknowledged that and did something to practically support health and safety representatives.

* More action to prevent occupational diseases. Tens of thousands of people are killed every year by diseases caused by their work. Five times as many days are taken off through sickness as a result of an illness caused by work than an injury. Yet far less is done to prevent occupational diseases.

What you can do!

8 Find out if any activities are being organised in your town. Your local trades council or hazards group may be doing something.

* If there is nothing happening, talk to others in your workplace or union branch and organise something. A simple vigil or rally can be an effective way to get people involved.

* If you are in a workplace that is working on 28 April, hold a minute’s silence for those who have died as a result of failings in health and safety protection.

* Write to the local press about the effect the attacks on health and safety are having on your members.

* In the weeks leading up to the 28 April, make an appointment to see your MP at their surgery.

Read more in the Hazards Campaign website article here

See also: Grayling Announces Abolition Of H&S Laws And New Challenge Panel On Back Of Löfstedt Report

Source: Hazards Magazine

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