Issue 246 - SafetyNet 246
The VTHC OHS Unit welcomes our subscribers to Edition 246 of the fortnightly OHS bulletin SafetyNet. Unfortunately there's been another Victorian fatality since the last edition. If you'd like to comment on any of the items or have any queries, please contact us at email@example.com.
Fuel tanker fatality
In what could have been a greater tragedy, a fuel tanker driver was killed in a multi-vehicle crash near Violet Town at about 11pm on 13 September. As the driver lost his life on a public roadway, it will not be counted as a workplace fatality. The 53-year-old Benalla man lost control of his truck, causing it to roll onto its side and spill fuel on the road; it was then hit by a car which had been travelling behind it. Luckily that car's driver managed to escape from her vehicle before another vehicle slammed into the wreckage.
The main fuel tank on the truck, which was carrying about 55,000 litres of petroleum, was ruptured. CFA spokesperson Tony Owen said, 'We had approximately 40,000 litres of fuel spewing on to the ground. If it had an ignition source it would have been a big fire ball with the truck carrying near 60,000 litres of fuel. It would have been a big fiery wreck.
'Sources: ABC News online
Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, said the continuing safety crisis in trucking, highlighted by the recent fatal crashes involving drivers carting in retail supply chains, has once again demonstrated the need to tackle the dangerous and often life-threatening pressures in road transportation driven by the demands of major retailers like Coles. Speaking in Sydney on 18 September, Mr Sheldon commented: 'We are calling on all of the relevant authorities, such as the State Road Authorities, Workplace Accident Investigators and the State Coroners, to launch full and thorough investigations. Fatal crashes such as these are made all the more heartbreaking when it's considered how they may have been avoided. Driving a truck is Australia's most dangerous job. Trucking accounts for almost one in every three workplace fatalities, despite the fact that less than 2.5% of the population are employed in the industry.'
TWU Media Release Trucking Tragedies Highlight Pressures In Australia's Most Dangerous Industry
Another fatality on Australia's docks
Greg Fitzgibbon, a 56-year-old wharfie with Newcastle Stevedores was killed on Sunday night, after a massive load of aluminium shifted, fell and crushed him as he was loading it onto a Chinese bulk carrier docked at Carrington, in Newcastle Harbour. A crane was loading cargo of aluminium onto the ship when a 20-tonne pallet unexpectedly shifted and the man was crushed. NSW WorkCover inspectors initiated investigations at the port on Monday and police are preparing a report for the Coroner. MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith said, 'We await the outcome of the current investigations but as soon as it is completed, we'll be seeking urgent meetings with Newcastle Stevedores to work through processes of better safety in the workplace to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.'
The MUA has been trying for some time to get industry to engage in developing a National Stevedoring Code of Practice (NSCOP). The union has said a Safe Work Australia special interest group was in its final stages of reviewing a national stevedoring code of practice, which would soon be released for public comment, hopefully to be implemented by end of the year or early next year. 'The MUA will not rest until better safety is delivered on the waterfront,' Mr Smith said. MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams said Mr Fitzgibbon had been a member of the MUA since 1986. 'It is with great sadness that I have informed MUA members of another death of one of own,' Mr Williams said. 'We have lost another member to a workplace accident that could and should have been avoided.'
Source: MUA Media Release Condolences For Deceased Worker At Carrington
Asbestos-containing Chinese vehicles: Ongoing controversy
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), which covers motor mechanics and workers in the vehicle industry, has been calling for a total recall of all of the 24,000 Great Wall and Chery cars which have asbestos in numerous engine and exhaust gaskets. However, in August, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instead said parts should be replaced during routine servicing. The union now points out that letters sent by the company and occupational health and safety consultant Hibbs & Associates to car owners state there are 'negligible' asbestos-related health risks to passengers and mechanics provided that removal and handling procedures were followed. Furthermore, and even more outrageously, the letters state: 'We recommend any work involving these gaskets be carried out by an authorised Great Wall dealer or a licensed motor mechanic who has been made aware of these procedures. However, if you prefer to carry out the work yourself we strongly recommend that you follow the procedures outlined in a Work Safe Guidance Note.'
Canada 'tosses in towel' over asbestos
In what is great news for the international community, the Canadian government has given up and will stop fighting international efforts to list asbestos as a hazardous substance. This is another blow to a once-mighty domestic industry that is now on the verge of extinction. The announcement was made Friday by Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who comes from the asbestos belt and is one of the industry's staunchest defenders. He said the government will no longer oppose efforts to include asbestos to the UN's Rotterdam treaty on hazardous materials.
Paradis indicated this was inevitable, given the growing opposition to the industry. Two of the parties in the Quebec legislature, including the new Parti Quebecois government, have said asbestos exports are immoral given its links to cancer. The PQ announced it would cancel a $58 million loan promised by the previous Liberal provincial government, which was would have reopened Canada's last asbestos mine. Paradis was clearly not happy, referring to the loss of potential jobs.
Source: Canadian Press
NOTE: we have had technical problems with the Ask Renata function on the website, with no emails coming in for several weeks. If you have sent in a query and not received a reply, we apologise – but please send it in again, directly to Renata at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week's question:
Is the VTHC holding its annual HSR Conference during WorkSafe Week in October this year?
No, for the first time since 1998, the VTHC will not be running our own conference. There are many reasons for this, including insufficient funding to run the event as we have in the past, with concurrent workshops in the afternoon. Last year, despite our efforts, many HSRs who attended felt the lack of opportunity to properly engage and participate to the level they had been accustomed to. Furthermore, the funds available did not even cover lunch for participants: a great disappointment to all!
However, elected HSRs will still be able to attend events during WorkSafe Week as this year, WorkSafe has determined that the entire Week will be recognised under S69 of the OHS Act. This means that an HSR may choose a number of sessions over one day, and be entitled to attend on paid leave (as long as they give their employer 14 days' notice). To find out more, and to register for sessions, go to this page on the WorkSafe Week website. HSRs can choose a location (there will be events in Melbourne and in other Victorian locations), check out what's on each day, and then find a day on which there are a number of interesting sessions.
If you have any OHS - related queries or questions, then why not send them in to Renata? Send in an email to email@example.com and we promise you a quick and easy to understand response within a couple of working days at the latest. And it's free!
Reminder: Victorian Women - Anna Stewart Memorial Project
It's not too late to participate in the October Anna Stewart Memorial Project, which aims to increase women's involvement in the union movement. The project has been in existence since 1984 and so far more than 600 women have participated in the Victorian project. The coming Project will be conducted at Trades Hall from Monday, 8 October 2012, to Friday, 19 October 2012. The course fee per participant is $150 (GST inclusive) and includes a catered morning tea and lunch on the first day and farewell restaurant lunch. All course materials are provided. If you are interested in participating or if you have any queries, contact your union OR Jennifer O'Donnell-Pirisi, VTHC Women's Officer on 9659 3511or mobile 0412228247 as soon as possible.
ACT: Union protest becomes memorial march
In what was originally planned as a CFMEU-led safety protest 'March to Save Lives', about 600 construction workers marched on the Legislative Assembly last Wednesday morning to demand improved safety on Canberra's building sites. The protest became a memorial service as Kay Catanzariti delivered a tribute to her 21 year old son, Ben, killed in an accident on a Kingston Foreshore construction job in July. Just the day before Mrs Catanzariti urged workers to attend the rally. Ben Catanzariti was the fourth man to die on a Canberra worksite since December 2011 - the union has vowed to continue its campaign until meaningful reforms are enacted.
Mrs Catanzariti told the crowd that she was determined to fight for safety in the construction industry. 'There now lies a numbness within that cannot be expressed with words......no words can express the gut wrenching loss, despair and emptiness that now fills our lives,' she said. 'Ben can never return to us but if my efforts today can prevent another senseless workplace accident from happening then no other family will be broken like ours.'
CFMEU ACT branch secretary Dean Hall said, 'Enough is enough, safety needs to be prioritised and improved, as there is no acceptable number of deaths. We really hope that this current inquiry results in improvements in safety in the industry and is not a bureaucratic process where the recommendations are lost in paperwork and government procedures.'
Sources: The Canberra Times; CFMEU
SA teachers face 'skyrocketing' cyber bullying
According to media reports, South Australia's Education Department has issued a memo to the state's 555 public schools detailing the issue of cyber bullies attacking teachers on social media sites. The memo warns numerous schools have found Facebook pages, with official school logos and names, with rumours and other damaging material. It has been estimated that one in eight teachers has experienced online harassment , and that almost a third of perpetrators are believed to be parents.
The memo states the sites may have been set up by students and recommends principals contact police if they believe a crime, such as s*xting, defamation or impersonation, has been committed. The warning comes following a survey of more than 1200 teachers which found that more than 12 per cent have experienced online bullying, threats and harassment. Of these, only a small number, 16 per cent, reported the incidents to police.
In a survey conducted by the Australian Education Union SA branch survey found 40 per cent of perpetrators were students and 32 per cent were parents. The union's state president Correna Haythorpe said teachers had raised concerns about threatening or abusive comments on social networking sites. 'These comments can actually damage a person's professional reputation and career,' she said. 'Questions need to be asked about when it becomes defamation and when it becomes an e-crime.'
Read more: Adelaide Now
ACTU Reps' Survey
The ACTU is conducting an online survey of workers' health and safety representatives (HSRs) including elected HSRs and workers' representatives on health and safety committees. The survey, which is open until Friday, 26 October 2012, is looking for information on issues such as how reps were elected, management consultation, type of activities undertaken as a rep, training and use of PINs and cease work notices. The survey is open to all workers that represent other workers on health and safety matters at the workplace and takes about ten minutes to complete. The ACTU intends to release a report based on the results of the survey. No individual results will be reported.
Aussie rules footies made by children
After shocking revelations in
The Saturday Age that some Sherrin balls were being hand-stitched by children as young as 10, for as little as 12 cents a ball, the company made a decision. It announced this week it has pulled all football manufacturing from its Indian subcontractors. The children, almost all of them girls, were being pulled out of school to stitch balls, for up to 10 hours a day, seven days a week.
Then yesterday the company announced it is recalling up to half a million Auskick footballs manufactured in the past two years after The Age reported a six-year-old Melbourne boy had been injured by a needle found in a ball linked to an Indian subcontractor using child labour.
Read More: The Saturday Age find link The Age Half a million balls recalled
Nanotech: NGO proposal for cosmetics Regulation's nanomaterials definition
The European Consumer Organisation (Beuc) has published its proposals for aligning the EU cosmetics Regulation's definition of the term 'nanomaterials' with the regulatory definition recommended by the European Commission last year. The Commission intends to apply the updated definition to cosmetics as soon as the Regulation's nano-specific requirements enter into force in 2013. Beuc says the new definition of nanomaterials in cosmetics needs to:
- include all materials in which more than 0,15 % of the number of particles are present in the nano-size range;
- cover byproducts which are not intentionally manufactured but which are present in the nano-range;
- include soluble nanoparticles and nanostructures which have specifically been designed to carry encapsulated substances that will be released to the systemic circulation;
- include nanoparticles below 1nm, such as fullerenes; and
- add a criterion on volume-specific surface area because particle size distribution alone is insufficient to give information about the surface area, which has an impact on the reactivity of the particles.
BEUC policy position
International Union News
Global: Insecure work leaves workers 'trashed'
A global epidemic of insecure work is leaving a trail of sick and injured workers in its wake, a new report had concluded. According to 'Trashed!', published last week in the UK workers' health journal Hazards, the 'most reliable product of many modern workplaces is now insecurity, with those in permanent jobs fearing the axe in the name of automation or austerity, and a growing slice of the workforce already outsourced or semi-detached from employment, on zero hours contracts, temping or skirting around for scraps in the informal economy.' The report says job insecurity-related health problems are rife across 'an increasingly disposable workforce.' It notes: 'In a recession-ravaged world, even if you've got a permanent job, you feel insecure. If you've got a temporary job, you are permanently insecure.' 'Trashed!' reviews links between this 'precarious work' and health problems. It identifies 'a large body of research evidence' linking insecure work to higher injury and sickness rates and poorer health overall, including a greater chance of suffering heart disease and strokes. Other problems linked to insecure work include a greater risk of suicide, depression and mental health problems. The report concludes: 'The reasons are simple. Insecure workers are more likely to be exposed to risk and have less scope for raising or acting on their concerns.' On 7 October 2012, the World Day for Decent Work, the IndustriALL global union is calling on trade unionists, labour rights activists and others 'to join the global fight against precarious work'.
Source: Risks 573 Hazards magazine Trashed and insecure work webpages. Industriall news report , leaflet [ pdf ] and details of the 7 October 2012 precarious work day of action
More Hazards, more answers
The latest issue of the UK workers' health magazine Hazards is out now. Check it out for latest news and resources on issues ranging from job insecurity, to Legionnaires' disease and whistleblowing rights at work. Hazards magazine is the only surviving independent workers' health and safety magazine in the world. To keep this unique resource requires union subscriptions and support.
Hazards magazine and subscriptions webpage.
Pakistan: Garment factory fire and campaign
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) in mourning the deaths of the Pakistani workers, as well as a number of workers killed in a Russian factory fire, says that global brands should ensure garment worker safety. It said that according to information it had received, the Ali Enterprise factory in Karachi was supplying goods to the European market. The Clean Clothes Campaign is calling on all brands and retailers sourcing from Karachi to undertake immediate reviews of all their suppliers. The National Trade Union Federation in Karachi state that although the high death toll at Ali Enterprises had led to extensive coverage of the fire, this is not an isolated incident but a regular occurrence in an industry that is poorly regulated and largely non-unionised. An arrest warrant has been issued out for the owners of the factory, who face charges of conspiracy to murder through negligence.
Since the Karachi fire in which nearly 300 workers burned to death on September 12, it has emerged that only weeks before the Alia Enterprise factory had received the coveted Social Accountability International's SA8000 certificate, indicating that it was in compliance with the standards on working conditions and safety standards. The Italian company which performed the audit had previously issued 540 certifications, including 100 in Pakistan.
CCC Media Releases Global brands should ensure garment worker safety. Pakistani factory struck by fire believed to supply European market IUF Media Release: Social audits no substitute for strong unions and government regulation Sign the Petition to make factories safer.
As a result: ILO action plan to boost workplace safety in Pakistani factories
The International Labour Organization last week pledged to support the families of the victims of the Karachi garment factory fire and announced a plan to strengthen workplace safety to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future. Francesco d'Ovidio, ILO Pakistan country director, flew to Karachi and held a meeting with Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, Governor of Sindh Province. D'Ovidio expressed his condolences on the death of so many workers and outlined how the ILO will help victims' families and the Sindh Labour Department.
'The ILO is ready to offer immediate- and medium-term assistance, including skills training scholarships to members of the victims' families and link them with decent jobs,' D'Ovidio said. 'We will help enterprises put in place a safe work culture in workplaces through the rapid training of labour inspectors in Sindh.' Dr. Khan welcomed ILO's support and solidarity and said it will help the government's efforts to address the tragedy. 'ILO's help is needed to launch a campaign for factory registration and to develop an efficient labour inspection system in Sindh province. Presently, the labour inspection system has various challenges, including a limited mobility infrastructure. ILO's technical and financial support is required to organize the labour inspection on modern lines,' said Dr Khan. D'Ovidio is also expected to hold meetings with the Employers Federation of Pakistan and the Pakistan Workers Federation.
ILO Media Release
Cabin Air Quality campaign
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) last week launched an international campaign targeting cabin air quality. Gabriel Mocho, ITF civil aviation secretary, said that contaminated air inside aircraft is a real concern for aviation workers and trade unionists. 'The ITF is determined to do what it can to address this problem, and as part of that effort we have launched new web pages where you can see a new film on the subject, find advice, and download materials to help you find out more and publicise the problem,' he said. Materials available include checklists, guidance material and more. Further, the ITF would like to learn about workers' experiences of the problem and how unions have tackled it, or believe that it should be tackled. 'We'd particularly like to know if you are planning to use what you've found on these pages, so that we can share those lessons among all the unions that are addressing this issue,' said Mr Mocho, 'Please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org ' Cabin Air Quality Campaign
Construction: work-related deaths and injuries continue to rise
According to a recent RMIT University study, construction workers continue to suffer a persistent incidence of work-related deaths and costly injuries and illnesses, despite advances in technology and safety management systems. Although the Australian construction industry accounts for 9 per cent our workforce, in 2008-09, it accounted for 11 per cent of all serious workers compensation claims. In the same financial year, construction recorded more fatalities than any other industry and the fatality rate was more than twice the rate for all industries.
RMIT's Professsor Helen Lingard says the construction industry is characterised by intense competition, conflict and pressure to drive down prices, all contributing to the industry's poor OHS performance. Professor Lingard and others, including researchers from the Center for Innovation in Construction Safety and Health at Virginia Tech in the US, will undertake an investigation of the ability of construction clients to drive OHS improvements through their procurement and project management practices.
Source: Safety Solutions. Read more
Heart attacks linked to work stress
European research showing a link between heart attacks and work stress has been published in
The Lancet this month. University College London (UCL) epidemiology and public health Professor Mika Kivimäki led the study of almost 200,000 people from seven European countries. The team investigated the association between coronary heart disease (CHD) and exposure to job strain - defined by high work demands and low decision control - with greater precision than has been previously possible, due to the pooling of published and unpublished studies. He said it showed people with job strain were 23 per cent more likely to have a heart attack compared with those without such work stress. 'Our findings indicate that job strain is associated with a small, but consistent, increased risk of experiencing a first CHD event such as a heart attack,' said Prof Kivimäki.
Read more: UCL News Pan-European study confirms link between work stress and heart disease
Asthmagens in the built environment
Leading global interdisciplinary design firm Perkins+Will has released a new report examining the detrimental impact of building materials and products on asthma. The report,
Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma [
pdf ], identifies 374 substances commonly found in the built environment that are known or suspected asthmagens. Also included in the report is detailed information on the occupations and industries that come into the most contact with these potentially hazardous materials. The report's findings were compiled from an analysis of eight lists of published research from both academic and government sources. The Pump Handle science blog quotes Ken Rosenman, professor and chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Michigan State University, as saying that the report will be mostly beneficial for workers: 'to me, it's most useful for (workers) more so than for us sitting in our offices or at home,' he said. The blog also reports that according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, occupational asthma is the most common work-related lung disease in developed nations.
Source: The Pump Handle blog PR Newswire: Media Release
Heart disease and trucking industry workers
Evidence from general population-based studies and occupational groups has identified air pollution from mobile sources as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. US researchers had previously observed in a cohort of US trucking industry workers, with regular exposure to vehicle exhaust elevated standardised mortality ratios for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) compared with members of the general US population. The authors examined the association of increasing years of work in jobs with vehicle exhaust exposure and IHD mortality within that group. They calculated years of work in eight job groups for over 30,750 workers using work records from four nationwide companies and examined IHD mortality.
They found elevated risks for dockworkers, long haul drivers, pick-up and delivery drivers, combination workers, hostlers, and shop workers. There was a suggestion of an increased risk of IHD mortality with increasing years of work as a long haul driver, pick-up and delivery driver, combination worker, and dockworker.
Ischaemic heart disease mortality and years of work in trucking industry workers, Hart, J, et al. Occup Environ Med doi:10.1136/oemed-2011-100017
New WorkSafe News website
As part of a total revamp of its website, WorkSafe has launched a new News website - a new place to read, search and share all the latest news from WorkSafe Victoria. Readers can also subscribe to receive automatic updates direct to their inbox, based on topics and locations of particular interest.
Construction blitz begins
WorkSafe has begun its housing construction safety blitz, with five suburban and regional areas to be targeted in a series of coordinated visits. The campaign kicked off in housing estates in the City of Casey last month (August). Through media coverage and stakeholder engagement, building contractors working in the area were given prior notice of the campaign. But the exact location was not disclosed. The key to the blitz program, says WorkSafe, is that there is an increased chance of an inspector stopping by your worksite, so it is in employers' best interests to make sure all risks are controlled. A total of 58 improvement notices were issued and there were 44 instances of voluntary compliance (when immediate measures are taken to fix a problem). The main issues seen by inspectors have been:
poor maintenance of electrical tools and equipment
general housekeeping of the sites, posing risks to people entering and walking around the site
failing to properly secure security fencing
unsafe working at height.
WorkSafe Media Release
SA Coroner recommends redesign of road rollers
SA's State Coroner has found the design of a road roller which killed a worker 'extremely unsatisfactory'. The 50 year old worker was killed in April 2008 when he was hit by a road roller being used to seal a road. The worker had been walking behind a truck that was driving over the newly laid bitumen to fill in patches while heavy rollers were driving along the new section to smooth its surface. The Coroner Mark Johns said the design of the Dynapac DM83 multi-tyred roller was unsatisfactory because it required its driver to operate the vehicle while looking over his shoulder.
'It should be possible to implement machine designs that would enable an operator to be facing in a forward position while the vehicle is in fact reversing,' said Mr Johns. 'I simply cannot accept that the present unsatisfactory state of affairs where a driver has to spend half of his working day reversing a vehicle and twisting to look over his shoulder to do so, is the only way in which a road surface can be properly compacted.'
Despite picking up a clear design fault, however, the Coroner also said the cause of the accident was "human error" because as the driver's vehicle began drifting towards the truck, he attempted to correct the steering, but did so in the wrong direction.
Source: Adelaide Now
Comcare to review Compensation Act
Comcare has said that work is well underway on the review of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) announced by Minister Bill Shorten earlier this year. The review is being headed by Mr Peter Hanks QC and Dr Allan Hawke with the final report to be presented to Minister Shorten in February next year. View the Terms of Reference [ pdf ] Mr Hanks has released an issues paper [ pdf ] developed during initial consultations with key stakeholders in the Comcare scheme. Interested people are invited to provide any feeback on the SRC Act via email by Thursday 25 October 2012.
Queensland: 'In it for the long haul' video
Work Health and Safety Queensland has produced a video telling the story of Tiffany Upton, who at only eighteen years of age suffered horrific injuries cleaning a potato processing auger at the end of a day's shift. While her right arm was inside the auger, the spinning corkscrew blades were activated and in an instance her arm was caught. Moments later her other arm was caught too as she tried to pull free the first. It took emergency crews more than 40 minutes to free her and led to more than 30 hours of surgery to save her life and arms. The point of the story is that the terrible incident, which has changed the young woman's life forever, could and should have been prevented. 'I wanted to do this film to warn people that this does happen in a workplace. It doesn't only just happen to middle-aged men, it can happen to anybody,' she said.
In it for the long haul
Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
According to Safe Work Australia statistics, as at 24 September 2012, 130 Australian workers had been killed while at work during the 2012 calendar year, according to figures on the Safe Work Australia website. During the same period in 2011, 120 work deaths had occurred. To date, the industries with the highest number of work deaths in 2012 are:
transport, postal & warehousing (42)
agriculture, forestry & fishing (27)
NSW: employer fined on guarding charge
NSW employer Delta Shelving Systems Pty Ltd (now Delta Supply Solutions) has been fined $60,000, after a worker modified an inadequately guarded machine in order to be able to do the job, and had his hand and four fingers amputated in March 2007. The press operator had made modifications to the press because the non-standard product he was making could not be manufactured in automatic mode. This meant he was required to put his hands into the machine to retrieve the product: on the day of the incident the machine cycled down and severed his right hand at the wrist and four fingers on his left hand. He underwent surgery, and his hand and one finger were successfully reattached.
The employer pleaded guilty to breaching the NSW OHS Act, in failing to adequately guard plant; failing to ensure a system of work was in place and an adequate risk assessment was undertaken; and failing to provide workers with supervision, information, instruction and training.
Source: OHS Alert
China: Apple manufacturer Foxconn improves workers' hours and safety
Foxconn, Apple's top manufacturer, has improved safety conditions and cut working hours in an effort to resolve violations at its plants that triggered a global scandal for the iPad and iPhone maker. The Taiwanese company submitted to an audit by an independent group, the Fair Labour Association (FLA), after reports of suicides and abusive conditions at several of its factories in China. Apple had asked the FLA to investigate after a series of reports into working conditions at Apple's key supplier. In February and March the FLA found at least 50 violations of local regulations at Foxconn plants in Chengdu, Guanlan and Longhua.
The FLA said Foxconn had made significant improvements such as introducing more breaks and better maintenance of safety equipment. The company more than doubled wages after protests from worker groups and is backing a local law adjustment that will extend unemployment insurance. Foxconn had completed all the 195 actions that were due at the time of the FLA's report and another 89 action items were completed ahead of their deadline, according to the FLA. Another 76 actions are due over the course of the next year.
Read more: CAW Info Source: The Guardian
India: Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill passed
On Sept 3, the Lok Sabha passed the
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2010, without discussion amid uproar over `coalgate' scam, according to the Times of India. The Bill, introduced by women and child development minister Krishna Tirath and approved by the Union Cabinet in 2010, covers women workers in the unorganised sector that employ less than 10 people where service rules are not applied. This includes domestic help. According to Vishakha guidelines, all women should be covered by the law. However, landlords who employ more than 10 agricultural workers would be outside the ambit of the law. The Bill also does not cover women in the armed forces.
Read more: CWA Info Source: Times of India
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