occupational safety and health

Cleaner’s Death Highlights Lack of Safety Protections

At a funeral service in Lima, Peru, dozens of street cleaners yesterday mourned the death of their colleague, Rosa Mamani Apaza, a street cleaner who was killed on the job August 29 by stray gunfire as bullets flew nearby during an apparent late morning robbery. Several other bystanders were injured. Mamani, 44, worked for more… [READ MORE]

Ong Kay: The Real Story behind Siem Reap Temples

Cambodia’s Siem Reap temple complex draws millions of tourists each year. But what most tourists do not see are the restoration workers like Ong Kay, who are paid low wages and toil under the hot sun without safety clothing or equipment to protect against falling stones and other hazards. Ong describes his experience in the… [READ MORE]

Solidarity Center Safety Training: Empowering Workers

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, this week, 50 children held torches alight, “beacons of life” to mark the four-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed 1,130 garment workers—including their parents. Together with the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF), which sponsored the event, the orphaned children prayed for their parents and stood vigil outside the… [READ MORE]

Tazreen Fire Survivors: ‘Our Suffering Has Just Started’

“You have forgotten the Tazreen fire incident but our actual suffering has just started,” says Anju, who experienced severe head, eye and other bodily injuries during the fatal Tazreen Fashions Ltd. fire in Bangladesh that killed 112 garment workers. Survivors of the November 24, 2012, Tazreen fire who recently talked with Solidarity Center staff in… [READ MORE]

Solidarity Center Launches Georgia Worker Rights Project

A new Solidarity Center project in Georgia to strengthen respect for worker rights through union, government and employer engagement will ensure the voice of workers is “a critical part of policymaking” so that “the benefits of economic growth are shared,” says Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau. The Georgian Minister of Labor, U.S. and Georgian… [READ MORE]

Two Years after Fatal Tazreen Fire, Life Worse for Survivors

November 24 marks the two-year anniversary of the deadly fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd. in Bangladesh that killed 112 garment workers. Since then, at least 30 garment workers have died in factory fires and 844 have been injured in 68 incidents, according to data collected by Solidarity Center staff in Dhaka, the capital. Many of… [READ MORE]

Swaziland: Textile Workers Sickened from Dangerous Chemical

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. The workers, who went to the hospital at their own expense, reported chest pains, severe headaches, vomiting and bleeding, and some collapsed…. [READ MORE]

Bangladesh Garment Union Leaders Making Change Together

Some 600 factory-level garment union leaders and workers from 35 factories met during the recent Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation (BGIWF) Convention in Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital. Joining together under the convention theme, “Together we can bring change,” participants described the workplace improvements that followed after workers formed unions. “Before forming the union, the… [READ MORE]

‘The Key to Development in Africa Is Empowering Women’

Up to 80 percent of workers across Africa labor in the informal economy, many as street vendors, taxi drivers and domestic workers. With few legal rights, most informal-sector workers make low wages and have no health care or other social protections. Because women comprise the vast majority of workers in the informal economy, they are… [READ MORE]

Mexico: Mineworkers Leader Cleared of All Criminal Charges

A panel of federal judges in Mexico dropped all criminal charges against Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, president and general secretary of the National Mine and Metal Workers Union (Los Mineros), freeing him to return to Mexico from Canada where he has lived in exile.  Gómez Urrutia, who was removed as president of the 250,000-member union by… [READ MORE]

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