May Day: African workers task employers on members’  safety 


The African Regional Organisation of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) has appealed to employers of labour in the continent to prioritize safety and health of workers at work place.

In a 2024 May Day massage, General Secretary of ITUC-Africa, Comrade Akhator Joel Odigie, lamented the impact of climate change on occupational health and safety at workplace.

He said employers must do all they can to reduce the growing impact of climate change at workplace.

The massage reads in parts”The International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) is a day to remember these workers and to call for more measures to end this cycle of workplace deaths and accidents. 

“This year, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) commemorates the day under the theme ‘the impacts of climate crises and occupational health and safety’. The link between the climate and health, has become even more pertinent in recent years. 

“The need to take action to reduce the growing impacts of the climate, generally, but even more specifically on health is therefore most critical today. 

“To achieve this, it is imperative for all stakeholders to take action at workplace, national, regional and global levels.  

“As we commemorate the IWMD, the ITUC-Africa calls on workers around the continent, to continue to advocate for occupational health and safety policies and provisions at the workplace.  

“More concretely, Trade Unions must sensitise their members on the adverse impacts of climate crises on health, and agree ways to alleviate these impacts.  

“Furthermore, trade unions must continue to push for the ratification, application and enforcement of the provisions of the recently adopted core Conventions, 155 on Occupational Safety and Health, and 187 on the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety. This is necessary to strengthen Governments’ commitment on issues on health and safety at the workplace. 

“To reduce the adverse impacts of the climate crises, we call for an end to the privatisation of the environment and advocate for support for vulnerable people, communities and countries, including Africa, to meet their adaptation needs in line with a Just and Equitable Transition. 

 “Lastly, we call on employers, who are key “actors in ensuring safety and health at the workplace, to uphold this responsibility through meaningful engagement of workers”.