The WFTU, the militant voice of more than 92 million workers in 126 countries across the world, on the occasion of “the world occupational safety health”, the 28th April 2018, expresses its class solidarity with all workers of the world, their communities, families and individuals who, one way or another, suffered the impact of negligence of health and safety measures at the workplace. In this year’s occasion the United Nations have also included the “vulnerability of young workers” in occupational accidents.
Every year more than 2 million people worldwide die as a result of occupational accidents and work-related diseases. This means the death of 6000 people per day. At the same time over 300 million workers worldwide experience non-fatal occupational accidents while for the same period 2.78 million people suffer fatal injuries. A further 2.4 million people worldwide, annually contract new work-related diseases due to lack of adequate occupational safety and health measures in the workplace.
For the WFTU, the annual recurrences of occupational injuries, deaths and contraction of work-related diseases by the working people can no longer be understood as workplace accidents. These incidents evidenced the inherent conduct and regard of the working people’s lives by the capitalist mode of production and the uncontrollable industrial production on the working people of the world and the environment, and need a different attitude from a class oriented trade union movement.
The United Nations estimate that 541 million young workers between the ages of 15 and 24 years, a number inclusive of 37 million children, are employed in hazardous jobs. This estimate means that 541 million young workers, from which 37 million are children, are susceptible to die, or sustain injuries and contract work-related diseases before they reach their adult stage due to inadequate or none existence of safety measures for the protection of their life. This state of affairs, inclusive of other millions of working people who are already subjected to these conditions, represent calamity not only for workers, but for the entire people of the world, and warrant decisive action from trade unions, members, and social partners to extricate the world from this demise of the callous imperialist and capitalist order of the world.
Since its establishment in 1945, the WFTU has relentlessly conducted militant struggles in the workplace and beyond, for the protection of the lives of working people, and remains the militant international voice for workers and the working class and steadfast against imperialist governments, capitalist employers and collaborationist unions, who consciously sacrifice the health of the working people at the workplace for the unscrupulous pursue of profits. WFTU will always be on the side of workers and the people of the world against the injustices of imperialism and capitalist employers.
For the class-oriented international trade union movement and its members, the “world day for safety and health at work” 2018, should not be the occasion to accolade imperialists and capitalists monopolies public lip service on the protection of workers’ lives to ease their conscience.
The 28th April 2018 occasion must re-invigorate our ‘internationalist’ recognition for the furtherance of class struggle in the name of millions of workers who continue to perish at the gallows of unsafe working environment; for those millions of working people who sustained and continue to sustain fatal and non-fatal injuries at work, and for the millions of working people who suffer, and continue to suffer from work related diseases because of the unaccounted conscious negligence of employers for adequate occupational safety and health measures in the workplaces.
In this the 28th April 2018 “world day for safety and health” at the workplace, the militant class-oriented international World Federation of Trade Unions, the WFTU, and its affiliated class-oriented trade unions, make a clear declaration of action for the intensification of the struggle for adequate occupational safety and health measures in the workplace. In the period beyond the occasion day, the demand for improved working conditions shall be underpinned by the demand for adequate safety and measures for the protection of workers’ lives; including among others for active and effective intervention by governments, for the promotion of health and safety committees with workers participation, for the promotion of health and safety training for workers representatives and the demand to end child labour.