Risks is the TUC's weekly newsletter for safety reps and others, sponsored by Thompsons Solicitors.
Government contempt leads to more working wounded
Stress ‘tsunami’ could engulf working people
GMB shames Boris as figures expose safety cuts and carnage
Unite concern as site injuries go up and prosecutions down
NUJ push to end impunity for crimes against journalists
Assaults on prison staff hit record high
Usdaw slams government inaction on abuse of shopworkers
RMT condemns ‘broken promises’ over excrement on tracks
Grenfell fire inquiry is yet to target the ‘true culprits’
OTHER NEWS New building safety watchdog will be able to levy big fines
RMT warning on bad oil and gas industry report
University fined after researchers exposed to sensitisation risk
TUC guide on responding to work-related stress
New diesel exhaust fume risk prevention guide
Australia: Bosses could face work suicide ‘manslaughter’ charges
Australia: Mental illness is fastest growing workplace hazard
Australia: Deliveroo workers demand safety after deaths
TWU news release. Delivery Riders Alliance. Malawi: Tobacco farmers challenge multinational abuses
Almost 2,000 tobacco tenant farmers from Malawi, including hundreds of children, are taking legal action against British American Tobacco (BAT) accusing the multinational of forced and child labour. The child farmers carry out much the same work as the adult farmers including building ridges for planting, harvesting tobacco leaves, applications of toxic pesticides and bundling tobacco leaves. This work regularly prevents them from attending school and they often work gruelling 10 to 12 hour days. The tenant farmers are not provided with any protective equipment for the work and many suffer injuries and illness included Green Tobacco Sickness. Many have been threatened with physical violence and financial penalties if they try to leave the farms and they are all heavily dependent on the contract farmers for food, household products and money throughout the season. BAT is the largest publicly traded tobacco company in the world and acquires tobacco from between 20,000 to 35,000 farms in Malawi. Oliver Holland of law firm Leigh Day, the firm representing the tenant farmers, said: “While British American Tobacco amasses huge profits the farmers that do the gruelling and hazardous work of picking the tobacco leaves are paid little to nothing.” He added: “They are trapped into working for the season with no means of removing themselves and their families from their situation having been enticed to the farms with promises of decent wages and pleasant living conditions. This could not be further from the reality. On top of all this the famers are forced to make the heart-breaking decision to put their children to work, just to ensure they can make enough money so that they are not left in debt. It is time that multinational corporations that make money from exploited workers are held to account.” After news of the court challenge came to light, the US government announced on 1 November it had suspended all imports of tobacco from Malawi.
Leigh Day news release. US Customs and Border Protection withhold release order on tobacco from Malawi. The Guardian and related story.
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