Asbestos ban for Workers’ Memorial Day

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Rail and maritime transport workers call for asbestos ban

Workers’ Memorial Day is the perfect time to consider an asbestos ban says Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“The RMTU and its members are joining unions around the world to remember and mourn those who have lost their lives in the workplace”.

April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day.

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“The RMTU and its members are committed to removing hazardous substances from the workplace and we are calling on the government to make a similar commitment” says Wayne Butson.

“Our theme for this year’s memorial day is an asbestos ban”.

“A recent report urged the government to consider banning the importation and use of asbestos in New Zealand. Almost every week RMTU members find new containments of asbestos in their workplaces” says Wayne Butson.

“This has to stop, but it cannot while the government continues to allow the importation of products containing asbestos”.

“Workers should not have to work in buildings and vehicles that contain asbestos. It’s 2015 – much of the developed world has removed this risk by banning asbestos” says Wayne Butson.

“RMTU members feel very strongly about this issue and Workers’ Memorial Day because our union has suffered a terrible losses of life within the rail and port industries.”

Actions across the country: the RMTU will hold large ceremonies at noon at the Dunedin, Napier, Christchurch and Lower Hutt rail workshops. All trains will be stopping for one minute at midday with suitable public announcements being made on passenger trains to explain the train stoppings.