Ban Asbestos Campaign gets a boost in Pakistan

Pakistan is the latest country where the Ban Asbestos Campaign is making inroads. More than 170 dignitaries, experts and members of the general public took part in the Ban Asbestos Conference held on 1st February 2014 in Karachi. The Conference got a big boost with no less than the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain stating in his message “Scientific research has proved that asbestos is a human carcinogen and there is no safe level of Asbestos exposure”.

One of the key organisers of the Conference was Mr. Syed Haroon Ahmed who lost his brother Syed Fareed in 2007 due to Asbestos exposure at the Dadex Eternit factory, which has been manufacturing Asbestos cement pipes for over 50 years. Mr. Ahmed initiated his fight to ban Asbestos in Pakistan by filing a petition in the Sindh High Court and the case now awaits decision at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Addressing the delegates, the ACEEU President and BWI Asia Pacific Regional Committee Titular Member Bro. Md. Ishtiaq Virk mentioned “ The world over, millions of people have suffered due to Asbestos exposure and, like several other countries, we also need to get asbestos banned in Pakistan”.

The Asian Ban Asbestos Network* (A-BAN) Coordinator, Sugio Furuya made a presentation on the Ban Asbestos campaign and reported on the global and regional progress made to date.

Asbestos is the biggest industrial killer of modern times. After leaving its devastating legacy in Europe, the asbestos trade has been thriving in developing economies. According to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, Pakistan’s Asbestos consumption is more than 10,000 metric tons per year as of 2012.

BWI is a founding member of A-BAN launched in 2009

Serbian construction workers demand a decent life

18 April 2013

On April 12, 2013 around 25,000 workers started an hour long warning strike in the companies throughout Serbia. At noon several hundreds of them started their protest march from Nikola Pasic square to the building of the Serbian Government in Belgrade. Warning strike is organized under the slogan ‘Saving construction in Serbia and decent life of construction workers’.

‘Government will once again receive construction workers’ demands among which the most important one is to urgently organize Government’s session including the representatives of the trade union and construction workers’, said the president of the Trade Union of Construction and Building Materials Industry Workers of Serbia, Duško Vuković. He pointed out the necessity of that action because short term measures aimed at the prevention of further destruction of construction industry had to be taken immediately.

Vuković announced that the Trade Union would go on a general strike if in the following 30 days the Serbian Government didn’t take urgent measures in order to help that branch of industry. ‘We are going to strike as long as it takes and the next time there will be a higher turnout’, said Vuković in front of the building of the Serbian Government upon delivering trade union demands to Serbian Government representatives. Vuković said that the workers were asking for regular salaries, safe working conditions, eight – hour long working hours and as he added they were patient for a long time and couldn’t wait any more.