05 November 2004
Asbestos Victims Must be Compensated
“The victims of asbestos-related disease must the compensated,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
Christchurch School of Medicine research has confirmed that hundreds more New Zealanders have died from asbestos-related disease than is recorded on death certificates.
“Basic fairness, as well as the Government’s international law obligations, requires that victims of occupational disease are compensated in the same way as victims of accidents,” Ross Wilson said.
“Asbestos was used by business and Government in New Zealand despite available knowledge of its fatal health risks.”
The CTU has asked the Select Committee considering the Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Amendment Bill (No 3) to amend the principal Act to ensure that the requirements of International Labour Convention 42 are fully complied with.
ILO Convention 42 requires the Government to ensure that in law and in practice the workers incapacitated by occupational disease are provided with the same compensation as the victims of accidents.
“The CTU expects to meet with the Minister for ACC Ruth Dyson to discuss this matter soon,” Ross Wilson said.