This report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the 2014 celebration of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work - on April 28th - reviews the current situation regarding the use of chemicals and their impact in workplaces and the environment, including various national, regional, and international efforts to address them. The report also presents the elements for establishing national and enterprise level programmes that contribute to ensure the sound management of chemicals at work.
A strike by more than a thousand workers at Samsung supplier Shanmukang Technology in Dongguan has come to an after the Korean-owned company agreed to increase overtime rates for weekdays and weekends and double the employees’ monthly subsidy. The strike broke out on 27 March when the company announced that it would deduct additional social insurance contributions from the workers’ already low basic salary of 1,380 yuan per month.
On Friday March 21, filmmaker Heather White presented her documentary ‘Who pays the price? The human costs of electronics’ in Eindhoven. The session at the High tech Campus was organised by Dutch trade union confederation FNV Bondgenoten in collaboration with the GoodElectronics Network. The audience was made up of trade union officials and members, both from FNV and other trade unions. The discussion centred on how to tackle the issue of the use of benzene and related occupational illnesses.
On April 1, 2014, the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has issued a revised edition of its Base Code. The Working Hours Clause – though the fundamental principles remain the same – has been rewritten, so that there’s greater precision and clarity on a number of provisions and definitions. ETI developed a number of tools to help companies implement the changes, among which an online interactive learning tool.
In a research into grievance mechanisms in the electronics industry in 5 different countries SOMO found that very few workers have trust in the grievance mechanisms in their company. Most workers do not know how complaints are handled, and have limited knowledge about the different complaint channels. The high level of mistrust and the low percentage of satisfactorily resolved complaints demonstrate an overall poor performance regarding GM implementation.