02 July 2002
CTU Calls On Political Parties To Address Workplace Fatalities Crisis
“The CTU is calling on all political parties to clearly state their policies and strategies to reduce the appalling death toll in New Zealand workplaces,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
Ross Wilson was speaking after the double fatality at Pacific Steel in Auckland today which brings the number of OSH investigated workplace deaths for the last 12 months to 73 which is almost double last year’s total of 39.
“We have seen this year public attack on the proposed new osh legislation by employer spokespeople and ACT and National Party politicians,” Ross Wilson said.
“The message they are sending is that safety laws are an unfair compliance cost on employers, and that New Zealand workplaces are safe enough.
“And that gives a licence to poor employers not to do anything about health and safety protection for workers”
Ross Wilson said it was time to send a consistent message, from political, business and union leaders alike, that the present appalling death toll is not good enough and that urgent action must be taken by employers and employees to clean up unsafe workplaces.
“That message must be backed up by strong laws,” he said.
Ross Wilson said that MPs had walked away from Parliament without passing the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Bill which toughens up the HSE Act.
“The CTU challenges the parties who have opposed the HSE Bill to spell out very clearly what their policies are to address the workplace fatality crisis,” he said. ENDS