Saturday, 28 April 2012

Remembering the dead on workers memorial day

As every year we stop to remember those who have died and lost loved ones in accidents at work and those brave workers who do some extremely dangerous jobs for their employers.

The day is also intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight like hell for the living”.
Toll. The TUC says in the UK over 20,000 people die prematurely every year as a result of injuries or accidents caused by their work. This year it has called on unions and safety campaigners to make 28 April a day of action to defend health and safety from attacks by the press, politicians and employers. The union body is concerned that the UK's workplace safety record could be about to get worse as a direct result of government policies. Not only do funding cuts - both to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and to local authorities - mean there will be fewer official safety inspections, the government has also said that workplaces like shops, offices, schools, docks and farms no longer need to be routinely visited. TUC adds that 'health and safety bashers' should be reminded what safety law is really all about - not pointless regulation but necessary protection to stop employers taking risks with workplace safety and which prevents people from being killed, injured or made ill as a result of their work. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Sensible employers who are happy to work closely with unions improving safety and occupational health at work don't see safety regulation as an intrusive burden. But rogue employers, who are happy to cut corners and take risks with their employees' safety, do. It's these reckless employers that we need to target and the government's rhetoric will only encourage yet more of them to think they can get away with unsafe workplaces - without fear of ever getting a visit from the HSE or their local council.' UK events have been organised in over 50 towns and cities from Aberdeen to Penzance.
With the rights calls for slashing red tape in other words cutting health and safety measures will only make the workplace more and more dangerous for workers young and old.
Coupled with the fact that workers are being asked to work long and longer while the contradiction that there is record young people unemployed is ridiculous. Those older workers can be putting themselves in unnecessary danger by carrying on working past the age they’d normally retire due to not being able to afford to retire.

Its time we fought back and fought back for all workers young or old.

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