An analysis for the ETUC by the European Trade Union Institute reveals that deaths at work will continue to blight Europe for almost a decade longer than previously forecast after a rise in fatal accidents in almost half of member states. The latest figures for 2019 and 2020 show that deaths at work rose in 12 countries, most notably in Italy (+285), Spain (+45) and Portugal (+27). The ETUC is calling on the EU and national governments to stop workplace deaths by backing its Zero Death at Work manifesto which calls on the European Union, member state governments and employers to commit to and take the actions needed, to achieve zero death at work; for an increase in workplace health and safety training, protection, reporting, inspections and penalties; and for new legislative and other initiatives in the next mandate of the European Commission and Parliament from 2024.
ETUC underlines the need for action on workplace deaths
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The ETUC has call on the next European Commission to introduce a legislative instrument that recognises this increased risk to workers of increasing temperatures and provides a framework for protecting workers. The ETUC argues that weather conditions do not respect national borders and so European action is required. Other parts of the world have legislation but Europe has no binding law on safe maximum working temperatures. The ETUC says that currently maximum (and minimum) permissible working temperatures vary widely across different Member States and across sectors and companies.
The ETUC has highlighted strike action by 600000 cleaners across Italy as part of its campaign to pressure the European Commission not to delay publishing draft proposals on pay transparency. The cleaners were striking over the failure of the employers in the sector to negotiate a collective agreement, seven years after the last one expired. With women dominating the low-paid cleaning workforce there is a major case to be made for action on pay equality along with proper recognition of their skills and the risks they have been taking during the current pandemic. ETUC (EN)
The tragic death of 54-year-old Michele Lorusso, an employee of a private waste contractor near Bari in southern Italy, has prompted calls for urgent action on safety in the sector. The incident happened when Michele was on his own and attempting to fix a waste truck that had broken down. The FP-CGIL trade union says that this is just the latest in a long line of incidents with the sector registering a rise in accidents and occupational diseases in recent years. The union wants to see health and safety in the industry now given the highest priority.