In an extraordinary and dramatic turn of events, the Canadian government today announced that it will no longer oppose the listing of chrysotile asbestos as a hazardous substance under the Rotterdam Convention. Canada’s Minister of Industry, Christian Paradis, made the announcement in his constituency of Thetford Mines today. Paradis also promised that Ottawa will provide $50 million to enable workers to retrain in other fields of work.
In a blow to Samsung Electronics, a court ruled yesterday that the deaths of two employees at Samsung’s semiconductor plant should be considered an industrial accident and that Samsung should compensate their families accordingly.
The two workers died of leukemia, and their families filed for industrial accident compensation with Korean Workers’ Compensation and Welfare (KWCW) three years ago, claiming their illness had been caused by exposure to harmful elements at the plant.
Batam is an island close to Singapore but part of Indonesia. Until the late 1970s it had a few thousand inhabitants that lived mostly on the produce of land, forests and sea. Like Shenzhen, it all changed in late 1970s and early 1980s. Batam became an assembly line where cheap labour could assemble parts and products that would feed into the more advanced and capital intensive Singapore industry. Being an island it was an ideal location for a free trade zone and it was developed primarily for the electronics sector.
This report was carried out by the Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION) in collaboration with AMRC. An initial mapping was done of the limestone mining area close to Bandung district in Indonesia and looking at the potential of silicosis in the region on workers and the community due to exposure to the dust in the environment due to extensive mining in the area.
The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has decided to set up a common cutting and polishing facility to combat the deadly silicosis disease afflicting most of the workers in agate industry in Khambhat town of Kheda district.
Agate, which is a silicate quartz, is shaped and polished into beads and other decorative items. This industry has been in operation for generations in Khambhat region of the State.