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RENGO’s Efforts on the Issue of Asbestos

IV. Activities by Trade Unions

With a view to realizing RENGOeng’s policies on asbestos, trade unions shall undertake the following actions:

 1. Activities by RENGO

(1) Activities toward the government

  1. 1) Demand that RENGO’s policy on asbestos be realized;
  2. 2) Monitor progress at the national and local level in the implementation of programs developed by the government. If implementation is found to be inadequate, demand that the government quickly introduce appropriate measures.

(2) Activities toward political parties, employers’ associations, etc.

RENGO’s views and policies on asbestos will be presented to political parties, Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other employers’ associations, calling upon them to take actions for the realization of RENGOengo’s policies.

(3) Asbestos-related PR activities

Publicize asbestos-related hazards and how to deal with them using RENGO’s website; Also provide information on consulting services, asbestos-related health check-ups and environmental assessments.

(4) Dissemination and promotion of risk assessments including a checklist of asbestos countermeasures

Based on the risk assessment method, the containment and removal of asbestos in plants, offices, and other facilities should be implemented to expedite risk reduction. To this end, a checklist on asbestos should be included in the industrial health and safety management system (prime system) designed for small/medium enterprises, jointly developed by RENGO and the Institute for Science of Labor, to be distributed to affiliates and local organizations.

(5) Collecting and disclosing information concerning the asbestos-related measures of other countries

Information on the asbestos-related programs of other countries and the responses of national centers as well as affiliates and company-based unions should be gathered through the ICFTU and OECD-TUAC online network, and publicized on RENGO’s website.

 2. Activities by Affiliates

(1) Respective guidelines for measures on asbestos should be developed based on the characteristics of each industry.

For the parts based on the characteristics of individual industries, which are beyond the coverage of RENGO’s policies, affiliates themselves should develop their own asbestos-related guidelines, and use them for the guidance of their member unions.

(2) Identification of asbestos use in respective industries and compensation to victims through labor-management consultations

Through labor-management dialogues with industrial organizations, etc., the industry as a whole should gain an understanding of how asbestos is used in the industry, and this should be disclosed from the perspective of CSR. Labor-management negotiations should be carried out regarding corporate compensation (consolation payments)

(3) Negotiations on “additional compensation” under workers’ accident compensation

The demand for “additional compensation” for asbestos-related victims under workers’ accident compensation insurance should be integrated into the Spring Struggle for a Better Life. In doing so, the demand should be put forward that the amount of such compensation be disclosed. At the same time, it should be requested that its application be expanded to retirees irrespective of age, and that screening applications be accepted with medical certificates from hospitals that are not designated hospitals.

(4) Full publicity of asbestos-related risks and guidance for inspection

In addition to information on the risk of asbestos, company-based unions should be given guidance concerning asbestos measurements at work sites and on health check-ups.

(5) Grasping the activities of company-based unions

The activities undertaken by company-based unions and labor-management negotiations on the issue of asbestos should be grasped as a follow-up to company-based union activities.

 3. Activities by Local RENGOs

(1) Lobbying activities toward local governments

Making reference to good examples of programs and ordinances of other local governments, requests should be made to respective local governments to strengthen measures on asbestos.

(2) On-site inspections of asbestos at workplaces by workers accident prevention instructors

Workers’ accident prevention instructors in each prefecture should be utilized to actively conduct work site inspections, thus providing guidance for the prevention of airborne asbestos emissions at workplaces and other asbestos countermeasures.

(3) Dissemination of information and publicity on the availability of asbestos-related counseling

Asbestos-related consultation systems established by the government and prefectures should be made widely known and publicized among the public. At the same time, hospitals capable of diagnosing asbestos-related diseases within each prefecture (industrial accident hospitals, etc.) should be introduced.

(4) Activities by regional labor safety and health centers, etc.

Seminars on dealing with asbestos (basic lectures on asbestos, risk assessment, etc.) should be held by regional labor safety and health centers and other organizations.

 4. Strengthening International Solidarity Activities

(1) Actively participate in international campaigns launched by the PCFTU and GUFs.

For the purpose of achieving a ban on the manufacture and use of asbestos on a global scale, RENGO will participate actively in international campaign activities launched by the ILO, ICFTU and GUFs to strengthen international solidarity.

(2) Actively disseminate information overseas

Using websites and other electronic media, the current status of asbestos in Japan should be communicated throughout the world in various languages. Through these activities, the current status of Japan and the recognition of the “negative aspects of development” will be shared by many workers and intellectuals.

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Overtures from RENGO: Priority Policies '08-'09
RENGO’s Policies for the 2008 Spring Struggle for a Better Life (Excerpts)
JTUC-RENGO’s Opinions and Opposition against “Report of the Committee on Management and Labor Policy for 2008” of Japan Business Federation (NIPPON-KEIDANREN)
RENGO‘s Views on Hedge and Private Equity Funds
RENGO’s Views on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
RENGO’s View on the Issue of Foreign Workers
RENGO’s Efforts on the Issue of Asbestos
  I. Introduction
  II. Basic Ideas
  III. Specific and Concrete Policies for Preventing Exposure, Etc.
  IV. Activities by Trade Unions
JTUC-RENGO Vision for Social Security in the 21st Century

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