Socialist Worker

Workers Memorial Day — job can be death sentence

Issue No. 1950

One hundred and fifty people, mainly construction workers, joined a march and rally in London to commemorate Workers Memorial Day on Thursday of last week.

Workers at one Bovis site walked out to join the protest which was organised by the Construction Safety Campaign, the Ucatt union and the south east region of the TUC.

At the final rally at City Hall, Barry Camfield, assistant general secretary of the T&G union, demanded the passing of the bill on corporate killing as soon as parliament reconvenes after the election.

He called for directors to be jailed for criminal negligence at work.

Simon Hester, Prospect union rep for London’s Health and Safety Executive inspectors, compared the “war on terror” launched after 9/11 with the silence over the deaths of 2,000 workers killed at work since Tony Blair came to power.

He called for a “war on rogue employers” and for a recognised trade union health and safety rep in every workplace.

London mayor Ken Livingstone backed the call and pledged to ensure that all contracts for the Greater London Authority’s building programme included the highest possible standards of health and safety.

“If the contractors don’t like it, they ain’t going to work for us,” he said.

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Thu 5 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1950
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