West African nation, Guinea, has ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 176 on safety and health in mines, following campaigning by IndustriALL Global Union trade union affiliates.
The Guinean National Assembly approved the ratification of C176 and three other ILO Conventions on 26 December 2016. They include C189 on Domestic Workers, C167 on safety and health in construction, and C187 on the promotional framework for occupational safety and health.
IndustriALL mining affiliate in Guinea, SYNAMIC/ONSLG, has long pushed for better working conditions in the sector and lobbied for ratification of C176. The country has some of the world’s largest high-grade bauxite and iron ore reserves. Gold mining is also becoming increasingly important to the economy.
IndustriALL facilitator and SYNAMIC/ONSLG general secretary, Mamadou Saliou Diallo, said:
“Ratification of C176 by Guinea is extremely important because many accidents happen without recognition of the employer. And if the employer is faced with a complaint, they can put their lawyers into action, which the workers can’t. So it puts even more emphasis on the elimination of risks in the workplace.”
Guinea becomes the 32nd country to ratify C176. IndustriALL has a global campaign to improve safety in mines through ratification and enforcement of the Convention.
IndustriALL assistant general secretary, Kemal Özkan, said:
We sincerely welcome this move by Guinea to ratify Convention 176. We hope that the government will work with employers, labour inspectors and unions to see that it is enforced so that workers can carry out their jobs in safety.