Danish support for regional union’s meeting

Asian Workers’ Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Institute (OHSEI), which was set up three years ago with support from the Danish workers’ union LO-FTF, will organize a Theme Conference 3-5 December 2003 in Bangkok to strengthen trade unions’ promotion of occupational health issues by linking it to sustainable development.
      Linking occupational health and safety issues to sustainable development issues is a strategic move encouraged by of a special ILO/UNEP/Global Unions consultation held last 11 June in Geneva. The meeting called on ICFTU/TUAC to explore ways of working with OHSEI in Bangkok to develop a model for trade union regional activities for sustainable development. Representatives from ICFTU/TUAC, ICFTU-APRO, ILO, ILO-ACTRAV, UNEP and trade unionists from the Asia-Pacific region, Canada, Spain and Denmark form the organising committee behind the conference.
     According to Phil Drew, Director of the Asian Workers Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Institute (OHSEI), the conference will result in a regional program of actions/campaigns and the delegates will be asked to undertake specific actions with their unions once they return home. It will also organise a network of Trade Union Foundations and Institutes to coordinate global efforts for the long term.
      “Asia accounts for the vast majority of the estimated annual 2 million deaths from work-related occupational diseases world-wide,” says OHSEI director Phil Drew
      Participants at the conference will be delegates nominated by OHSEI’s member organisations, delegates from other interested regional trade unions and NGOs, some academic, employer and government agencies, and members of the OHSE Global Unions’ Working Party. The conference is free of charge. Nominating organisations must meet the costs of travel, accommodation and meals.
      The conference is to be conducted in English at the Bangkok Palace Hotel. As part of conference arrangements the cost of bed and breakfast on a single or shared basis is 950 baht per night currently about $US23. For registration please visit the OHSEI website (http://www.ohseinstitute.org) or email Phil Drew at phil@ohseinstitute.org.

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