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National's Cheap Shot on Workers Lives Miserable

CTU MEDIA RELEASE 15 November 2007

National's Cheap Shot on Chinese Workers Lives is Miserable

"National's complaints today over a small contribution of New Zealand expertise that will help in saving workers lives are small minded and miserable," CTU secretary Carol Beaumont said.

The China - New Zealand mine safety project was lead by the CTU in co-operation with the EPMU, the Department of Labour, Solid Energy Limited and the Chinese State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS).

"Thousands of mine workers in China die each year. This project made a contribution, however small, to the development of effective injury prevention and health protection systems in the Chinese coal industry."

"Unions worked in close partnership with Solid Energy Limited in developing and delivering the project, and their support was an important part of the project's success."

Governments in the United States, Australia and the European Union were also involved in similar projects, on a much larger scale, Ms Beaumont said.

"The project was designed to share any advice and assistance New Zealand could to contribute to better health and safety standards in China. It is disappointing in the extreme that the National party thinks that this international contribution is something they can have a cheap shot at."

The contribution doesn't in any way take away from existing commitments to improve health and safety for New Zealand workers, Beaumont said.

ENDS

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