Hazards Campaign Workers’ Memorial Day 2019 posters

The Hazards Campaign, in conjunction with Hazards Magazine, has produced two striking International Workers’ Memorial Day 2019 posters. They are available in A4 and A3 sizes from the Campaign. Posters are free but postage will need to be paid on larger orders.  Order here. 

They can viewed on the Hazards magazine website at higher resolution. Poster 1 and Poster 2

Posters are free but  postage will need to be paid on larger orders. As a guide 25 x A4 posters OR 12 x A3 posters will cost £1.50 first class postage. Call us for a price: 0161 636 7558

Send Order to: Hazards Campaign, c/o GMHC, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Manchester M16 7WD
or janet@gmhazards.org.uk

The Hazards 2019 conference booking form is now online

Hazards Campaign has published the Hazards 2019 conference booking form online.

The  Hazards Conference is the UK’s biggest and best educational and organising event for trade union safety reps and activists.

The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Cleaning up toxic work.’ Continue reading The Hazards 2019 conference booking form is now online

Workers’ Memorial Day 2019 – Order form for Hazards Campaign resources

The Hazards Campaign has produced a variety of Workers’ Memorial Day resources to support unions and activists with their 28 April event planning. 

These include stickers, posters, purple ribbons and high-viz WMD jackets. See examples of the resources below.

ALSO: The Campaign has produced two new posters for #IWMD19. You can order them here – other resources can be ordered using this form

Other posters and resources

WMD car sticker

Hazards Campaign 28 April poster for 2018 #iwmd18

Hazards Campaign 28 April ‘Unions make work safer’ poster

Hazards Campaign purple hi-viz jacket

Resources: Stress and mental ill health in the workplace

Challenging stress Work related stress and mental ill health are major work safety and health issues. These resources, produced by Hazards Campaign, are intended to assist trade unions in negotiating a comprehensive policy and strategy on mental health which includes a strategy for preventing work related stress and mental ill health, supporting individuals at work with mental ill health and providing a positive mental health work environment.

Documents for download

Fallen Tears – The unveiling of a new workers’ memorial stained glass window

As we begin organising for International Workers Memorial Day 2019, Greater Manchester Hazards Centre will be unveiling a memorial stained glass window on 23rd November at the People’s History Museum, Manchester, from 3pm to 5pm.

The window will be jointly  unveiled by Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and founders of Families Against Corporate Killers, FACK,.

‘Fallen Tears’, and will be on permanent display in the Peoples History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER

For more information about the unveiling and IWMD 2019 contact janet@gmhazards.org.uk or Tel: 0161 636 7558

Fallen Tears invitation

 

Hazards conference 2019 – sponsorship appeal

We are very grateful for the generous support for the  Hazards Conference 2018 by our sponsors in unions nationally, regionally, at branches, trades councils, individuals, and union-linked personal injury solicitors. We hope this vital support will continue for Hazards 2019.

Sponsorship is extremely important as it helps keep down the price of the conference to individuals and union branches. Please consider our appeal positively. Details for payment can be found in the Hazards conference 2019 sponsorship appeal PDF.

Feedback from Hazards 2018 was again excellent from the 320 safety reps and activists, around half of whom were new delegates, from all types of workplaces, all unions, and from all over the UK, coming together to discuss ‘Safety Reps @40: Vital to the future of safe and healthy work!’ You can read the Hazards 2018 cnference report here.

 

URGENT – we need more people at the ‘Breathless’ – Asbestos Film Premiere 27 Oct 2018 @ 4 pm

The UK premiere of an award-winning documentary called “Breathless” on the impact of asbestos in the developing world countries will take place on Saturday 27th October in Central London, followed by a discussion including the United Nations Rapporteur for toxics, Baskut Tuncak.

Breathless, which had its global premiere at the International Film Festival in Brussels in June this year, aims to show how asbestos companies cynically expanded to the less-developed world in order to perpetuate a dangerous industry for profit.

In India, the asbestos industry continues to expand which will cause asbestos-related deaths for decades to come according to the film makers.

The documentary from the Storyhouse production company, tells of Eric Jonckheere, whose mother, father and two brothers died from mesothelioma, who travels to the largest asbestos dump in India to find a community affected by the same Belgian company.

It is a story of profit over people, but also of how ordinary people can stand up to corporations.

Krishnendu Mukherjer, a dual qualified barrister from Doughty Street Chambers, travels to India with Eric and also explains how the asbestos industry spied on him and other campaigners who campaign against the asbestos industry and spread knowledge regarding dangers of asbestos to life.

As you know, I’m a partner at Leigh Day, and my father died of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.  This documentary comes at a crucial time and will assist in highlighting to the world the asbestos industry’s continued threat to life by exposing men, women and children to asbestos.  The film shows children playing in the asbestos dump in India.

Breathless will be shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London on Saturday 27th October 2018 from 4 pm.

The trailer for the movie can be viewed here

Accordingly,  I suggest  you or some of your colleagues may wish to attend so that they become aware of the issues.  Many asbestos campaigners and some medics I know are already attending

The tickets are only £12 and can be purchased here: https://www.ica.art/on/films/breathless-discussion.

If anyone requires any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0207 650 1166 / 07776 132718.

Please also tweet and/or insert on your website to spread the word.

Regards

Harminder

Harminder Bains, Partner

Leigh Day

Work Stress Conference 2018 (24-25 November)

The Work Stress Conference 2018 will focus on how we can best defend our hard-won Health and Safety protections in the face of Brexit.

Book your place HERE

Saturday 24 November 9.30 am to 5.30 pm)
Sunday 25 November (9.30 am – 12.30 pm)

The UK Work Stress Network campaigns to secure proper recognition of the damage caused by work-stress and to prevent work-related stress. Webpages

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ILO’s welcome of McDonald’s meaningless pledge is absurd and astonishing

ILO partners with indecent employers like McDonald’s in Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth

McDonald’s has signed up to the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth joining ‘ 43 partners who have pledged to reduce barriers to decent employment for youth while boosting access to decent work around the globe’

ILO  welcomes McDonald’s “decision to pledge a commitment  towards Decent Jobs for Youth, which aims at positive change in young people’s lives through positive action.” This  will come as a great surprise to McDonald’s workers and the unions working with them globally  to achieve decent pay and  decent work conditions as McDonalds’ does nothing but put up barriers! 

This is McWhitewash of the worst kind, surprisingly promoted by ILO,  a tripartite organization which seems to ignore  the on-going global movement of workers and Trade Unions against McDonald’s –  the waves of strikes, the demands for $15 an hour in US and £10 an hour in the UK.

Allowing McDonalds the prestige of respectability in appearing to ‘tackle barriers’ for young people, when they could at a stroke remove the barriers in their own company and pay all workers living wages, is absurd at best. This would be ‘positive action’ but the meaningless pledge is not.

Ian Hodson  President of the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union,  BFAWU which is organising young workers in McDonald’s and supporting the strike they held which won many concessions with more  planned soon said: 

We are disappointed to read of the tie up between the ILO and McDonalds who are global exploiters. For the ILO to give credibility to McDonalds a company that has championed zero hours contracts and low pay is not the type of employer whose support for this initiative should be welcomed – its employment practices are not a model to be praised.  McDonalds is currently under investigation across the EU and other parts of the world for its exploitative employment practices.

 McDonalds operates a fierce anti-union strategy which includes union busting tactics again in breach of what is expected of a decent employer. As we have witnessed in the UK, McDonalds has no hesitation in sacking young workers who join trade unions. In one instance they sacked workers for  raising genuine concerns for health and safety which we believe are contrary to the principles the ILO claims to champion on its website ‘Promoting Jobs Protecting people’.

We urge the ILO to withdraw from endorsing McDonalds’ as a reputable partner – and to scrutinise all other corporations signing up to this pledge- to protect young workers around the world from its low road policies  and to tell McDonalds to make good on its pledge by stopping exploitative employment practices, paying its workers a decent wage and recognising Trade Unions.”

Janet Newsham, GMHC and Hazards Campaign has been working with the BFAWU  and talking to workers about  the appalling health and safety issues in the fast food industry and in McDonalds’ especially, said:

I am astonished that the ILO has accepted McDonald’s as a partner in this Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth when they are a world leader in creating barriers to decently paid work with decent health, safety and other conditions.   I have talked to many young graduates working at McDonald’s who have been treated badly, sacked  for raising genuine health and safety concerns, subject to the insecurity of zero hours contracts and wages so low they can’t afford housing and decent food.  You can recognize a McDonald’s  worker by the burn scars on their arms.  McDonald’s is  the barrier to decent employment . It has the money and power to solve this at a stroke by making wages in its stores and franchises £10 an hour immediately in the UK, $15 an hour in the US, and solving the burn problems along with all the other serious health and safety issues which make work indecent and bad for young people’s  lives and health. “

HSE report shows Mental Heath First Aid training not leading to workplace improvements

Artwork: Andy Vine

The Hazards Campaign notes that HSE’s Research Report RR1135 – Summary of the evidence on the effectiveness of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training finds: ‘There is no evidence that the introduction of MHFA training in workplaces has resulted in sustained actions in those trained, or that it has improved the wider management of mental ill-health’.

This may be just a lack of research so far, but other reports also raise questions and Hugh Robertson, TUC, writing in Hazards Magazine questions whether MHFA is the right answer.

The Hazards Campaign has warned against employers adopting MHFA as a sticking plaster solution to the suppurating sore of anxiety, depression and worse caused by insecure work, low pay, excessive workloads, impossible targets, long hours, bullying, harassment and lack of support and respect at work.  Prevention of work-stress must be the first task for employers and union safety reps – to prevent work from making workers mentally ill.

We want all those suffering from mental ill-health caused by work (or unrelated) to get the proper, qualified, effective treatment and support they need. We support mental health awareness training to improve our understanding of mental-health.

“The Hazards Campaign has warned against employers adopting MHFA as a sticking plaster solution to the suppurating sore of anxiety, depression and worse caused by insecure work, low pay, excessive workloads, impossible targets, long hours, bullying, harassment and lack of support and respect at work.”

The Hazards Campaign supports and works with  union safety reps in working with employers, putting pressure on if needed, to assess for work-stress factors and remove them , and we want the HSE and Local Authorities to take enforcement action against employers who are failing in their legal duty to do this. This HSE Report makes clear there is no evidence so far that MHFA training achieves that or is effective in a workplace setting.

HSE’s Research Report: “The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training programme was first developed to train the public in providing help to adults with mental ill-health problems. Recently there has been an increase in undertaking MHFA training in workplace settings. As the regulator for workplace health and safety, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) wishes to understand the strength of the available evidence on the effectiveness of MHFA in the workplace. A rapid scoping evidence review was undertaken that considered three research questions on the impact, influence and application of MHFA training in workplaces.

A number of knowledge gaps have been identified in this evidence review that mean it is not possible to state whether MHFA training is effective in a workplace setting. There is a lack of published occupationally-based studies, with limited evidence that the content of MHFA training has been considered for workplace settings. There is consistent evidence that MHFA training raises employees’ awareness of mental ill health conditions. There is no evidence that the introduction of MHFA training in workplaces has resulted in sustained actions in those trained, or that it has improved the wider management of mental ill-health.”