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Italian metalworkers demand: “No more deaths at work!”

23 January, 2018IndustriALL affiliates FIOM-CGIL, FIM-CISL and UILM-UIL organized a rally and one-hour strike across the Lombardy region to attract public attention to the problem of poor health and safety at work, following four recent tragic fatalities at Lamina spa in Rho, Milan and Elettronica LG in Rovato, Brescia.

“Basta Morti sul lavoro!” (Enough: no more deaths at work!) was the main message of the trade unions holding a mass rally in Milan, in response to recent preventable industrial fatalities that occurred due to the poor health and safety working conditions.

In a joint release FIOM-CGIL, FIM-CISL and UILM-UIL said,

“Anguish, dismay and anger are the feelings that we live in these hours and this pushes us to raise, even more, the level of commitment against this shame.

“Too often accidents at work are not the consequence of a bad luck but a lack of compliance by companies with procedures and safety rules. Too often these dramas show the inadequacy of the prevention systems and measures necessary to ensure the safety and security of workers. Too often working conditions are being put in second place underestimating the necessity of prevention.

“Too often training and interventions to raise awareness of the topic and securing of workplaces are held back by cost, and no investment is done in people and their future.”

On 17 January three workers, Marco Santamaria (42), Giuseppe Setzu (48), and Arrigo Barbieri (57) died from gas intoxication (nitrogen) inside an underground furnace at the Lamina spa steel plant in Rho, Milan.

Another deadly accident happened with a young 19-year-old worker Luca Lecci, who was caught in a lathe at Elettronica LG, in Rovato, Brescia, and died on 19 January, the very day the unions announced the action against insufficient health and safety conditions.

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary, addressed condolences to all three affiliates and families of the perished workers. Sanches said,

“IndustriALL Global Union fully supports the joint actions FIOM-CGIL, FIM-CISL, and UILM are undertaking to call attention to the unacceptably large number of workplace preventable accidents and fatalities in the metal sector, and demand employers respect fundamental workers’ rights, including compliance with stringent health and safety standards.

“We expect that the root causes of the accidents will be fully investigated, the findings made public, and that remediation measures will be adopted immediately.”