Health and Safety, Firefighters
Public service union, Fagforbundet, that represents firefighters is taking legal action to try to overturn a decision by the social insurance court that cancer doesn’t quality as an occupational disease. There was a long struggle by firefighters to get occupational injury compensation as a result of being more exposed to certain types of cancer more than other workers. This was achieved in 2016 and several workers have received this compensation. However, a new ruling reverses this decision. The union argues that there is no new knowledge or research to justify any changes. Several recent
The three main firefighter unions - FP CGIL VVF, FNS CISL and UIL PA VVF - organised a day of protests and strike action on 15 November with a range of demands. They want to see the work of firefighters properly recognised in terms of both pay and social protection. They also want action on health and safety, particularly in relation to the occupational risks and diseases they face. The unions want the government to ensure adequate funding not just for the renewal of the collective agreement but also to boost recruitment. Further action was planned for 21 November.
Seven trade union organisations, including the CGT, CFDT, FO and UNSA, representing 85% of all firefighters have been taking strike action to demand improvements in pay and for a significant increase in jobs. The joint actions began in June and are running until the end of August. The unions want to see the withdrawal of legislation on public service reform and a number of other measures to improve pay, health and safety, pensions and trade union rights. A key demand is an increase in recruitment on statutory conditions. There are 40000 professional firefighters. This is the same number as in
Several studies show that public authorities and employers are falling short on their responsibility to sufficiently protect firefighters from the risk of exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxics (CMRs).
Firefighters' unions in Spain and Italy are calling for government action to address a number of longstanding issues. In Italy the FP-CGIL trade union has declared a state of agitation around a number of key demands related to the collective agreement, recruitment, occupational safety, pensions and the right to elect workplace representatives. The union wants to see action to reduce bureaucracy and increase investment. Meanwhile, in Spain the unions want a framework law to establish a clear national structure for the service which is characterised by significant differences across the regions
The Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive – What we need for a global EU strategy against work related cancer
EPSU shares the view of ETUC concerning the different elements needed for a global EU strategy against work related cancer. We want to insist on the need to provide better prevention for more than 12.7 million healthcare workers in Europe.
In a timely intervention, the FSC-CCOO has called on the government to put more resources into the prevention and fighting of forest fires - an issue which the union sees has become one of the most urgent for the country and rural communities. Along with a strengthening of the fire service - increased employment, professionalisation and training - the union argues that more has to be done to take preventative measures, some of which could actually help to boost rural economies.