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Safety & Health
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Each year, some 2.34 million workers die on the job—more than 1,000 a day worldwide. Some 300 million more workers a year suffer from non-fatal job-related accidents and illnesses.

Garment workers rally for workplace safety in Bangladesh. Photo: Solidarity Center

Working people in every economic sector face serious risks. The race for economic competitiveness and globalization has de-prioritized basic human rights and cheated workers of the fundamental protections they deserve.

On April 28, workers and worker rights activists like the Solidarity Center observe Workers Memorial Day—an annual day of remembrance for workers who died or were injured on the job. On Workers Memorial Day and every day, the Solidarity Center works with union allies worldwide to make sure workers know workplace safety and health standards and ensure that employers adhere to them.

Decent work—with good wages and benefits—also means safe and healthy working conditions.

Swaziland: Textile Workers Sickened from Dangerous Chemical. September 24, 2014—Workers continue to be sickened at a Swazi textile factory where dozens of workers required hospitalization earlier this month after the plant began using the dangerous chemical butyl acetate to clean clothing stains.

Liberia and Nigeria Unions Act against Ebola. September 15, 2014—Unions in Liberia and Nigeria are teaching union members, their families and local communities how to prevent transmission of the Ebola virus and speaking out on behalf of health care and other front-line workers.

Asia Network Fights Deadly Silicosis Among Gem Processors. April 28, 2014—There is a phrase for the gems that miners risk their lives to unearth: “blood diamonds.” But as yet, there is no similar shorthand to describe the colorful, semi-precious agate stones whose manufacture exposes workers to deadly silicosis, scaring and inflaming their lungs within as little as a few weeks. 

Sumi Describes Surviving the Tazreen Garment Factory Fire. April 25, 2013—As part of Workers Memorial Day events, the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md., is hosting a symposium: “From Mourning to Mass Movements: Garment Workers, Fire Safety and the International Fight for Social Justice.”

Reaching Workers on the Job Key to HIV/AIDS Prevention. November 30, 2012—Roseline Mosibudi Nkgapele, a member of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), has made it her mission to educate workers about HIV/AIDS.

AutoZone HIV Initiative Tests and Educates Over 350 Staff. November 8, 2012—Solidarity Center's HIV/AIDS train-the-trainer program recently reached more than 350 workers at the wholesale and retail company AutoZone.

Fighting for Agate-Processing Workers in India. August 8, 2012—Agate-processing workers have achieved their first major legislative success in India’s Gujarat state—official recognition that their jobs can kill them.

AIDS: Workplace Partnerships Have Impact. July 24, 2012—Globally, through the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation, unions in the global south, particularly in southern Africa, have produced a body of successful workplace interventions around HIV/AIDS.

Unions Speak up at AIDS 2012. July 20, 2012—In conjunction with the 2012 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the AFL-CIO hosted a one-day forum in Washington, DC on July 21 on unions’ role in combating HIV/AIDS with a focus on raising awareness among young workers.

AIDS: Workplace Partnerships Have Impact. July 24, 2012—Partners in the global south, particularly in southern Africa, have produced a body of successful workplace interventions and we should not forget the partnerships that work. Op-ed by Solidarity Center Regional Program Director for Africa, Imani Countess.

Report Aims to Expose Extent of Workplace Death and Disease for Asian Workers. April 26, 2012—The problem of workplace health and safety and its victims remains invisible in Asia, according to a new report released today by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre, a Solidarity Center partner.

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