Category Archives: Health and Safety

Remember the dead, fight for the living

Workers Memorial DAyy
Workers Memorial Day

South Lanarkshire Trade Unions commemorated Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday April 28, by laying a wreath at the Beckford Street Memorial.

Andy Murphy, chair of the South Lanarkshire Joint Trades Union Council, introduced the event, highlighting the achievements in improving workers’ safety over the years, whilst warning against complacency. There were still 133 people in the UK in 2013 to 2014 who went out to their work and never came home.

Margaret Gallacher, Chair of South Lanarkshire  UNISON Branch, reminded us that it was almost two years to the day since the collapse of the garment factory on the outskirts of Dhaka that took more than 400 lives, the worst industrial disaster since Bhopal.

Dave Moxham, Depute General Secretary of STUC, was proud to speak at the event. He  explained that he is from South London but the majority of his family were from South Wales. He remembers going back to visit the family in the 70s  –  but the older members of the family were all women because all the men had either fallen in the war or were involved in the mining industry and died young. However,  it’s not just people in heavy industry who are injured and die at work.  He gave the example of teachers and their spouses suffering from the devastating effects of asbestos.

Dave reminded us that health and safety culture is currently being attacked across the UK and we need to do something about this. We need to redouble our efforts to make our workplaces safer and fit places for our men and women to work in.

Bhopal, 30 years on and no justice

South Lanarkshire Trades Unions laid a wreath at the Beckford Street Memorial in Hamilton on Wednesday 3 December to mark 30 years since the Bhopal disaster and held a minute’s silence for those who have died and those who are still suffering.

Margaret Gallacher, South Lanarkshire UNISON Branch Chair, described the events of December 2nd, 1984, where a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, leaked a lethal gas methyl isocyanate. That night a few thousand people died, but to date 25,000 people have died since as a result of their exposure and over 120,000 people still suffer effects from the incident. None of the six safety systems designed to contain such a leak were operational.  It should never have happened.

Victims and their families are still fighting for justice. But 30 years on and there is none.

You can make a donation to the Bhopal Medical Appeal at http://bhopal.org/donate/