Philippine Trade Union Network on Asbestos Ban Formed

Published by rudy Date posted on April 2, 2009

“Our collective strength will be more effective in pushing legislators and government agencies to take action,” opened Brother Gerard Seno, National Vice President of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU).

On March 5, 2009 BWI along with ALU and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) called on all trade unions regardless of their affiliation to participate in a Forum that would discuss and develop a Philippine trade union network with the objective of launching an advocacy campaign calling for a ban on asbestos in the Philippines.

Over 30 trade unionists representing national centers, federations, Global Union Federation (GUF) affiliates and local unions heeded this call.

To advance the ban asbestos campaign, the trade unions adopted the following pillars:

Passage of Legislation —Advocate for pending bills in Congress and ensure that provisions based on international standards and instruments are integrated into these bills.

Formation of a Trade Union Network – With the support of GUF affiliates a network will be established to broaden the support for the campaign within and outside the Philippines.

Engagement with Government Agencies – Work with government agencies   to expand their asbestos policy protection mandates, improve compliance with their mandates, and adopt a national program on the elimination of asbestos-related diseases.

Monitoring Workers Exposed to Asbestos – Urge the creation of a central registry and medical surveillance of workers with exposures to asbestos.

Public Information Campaign – Educate legislators, government agencies, workers and unions, and the public to them into action.

The network’s advocacy agenda were formulated based on these pillars. Participants agreed to a Joint Communiqué, which called for joint activities and monitor campaign developments through a Technical Working Group (TWG) and periodic strategy meetings. – http://www.bwiap.org/ebulletin/E_news/March_News_reel.htm#asbestos

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