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January 2019

Derek Maylor, Chairperson:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has opened a consultation into the rules governing allergen information on prepared food. This is largely because of the tragic death of a teenager from an allergic reaction to a sandwich chain. Such foods are not currently required to carry labels on the packaging and information is only given upon request.

The Coord would like to see allergen labelling on all prepacked foods not just those such as supermarket ready meals. A simple label on the packaging informing which, or most likely none, of the recognised allergenic ingredients is contained is not difficult to implement.

The Coord will be represented at the launch of the Trade Union Clean Air Network this month - decent work also means clean air. Most air pollution is caused by work activity, production leading to toxic wants pumped out in to the atmosphere for our children to breathe. The proposed adoption of a clean air charter will give coordinated demands for unions to campaign on locally and nationally. There will be a full report following the event.

The launch runs at the same time as the ongoing European work on Just Transition which is central to many European trade union campaigns and there is another event this month central to just transition, sustainable equality and the distributional effects of climate change. For over twenty years European unions have demanded that the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy should be a Just Transition, the weight carried by the strongest rather than the weakest. This has become an essential principle is climate change policy throughout the world as a guiding principle but needs visible and measurable targets to police the move to environmentally sustainable economies, otherwise becomes as plausible as the tory promise to protect workers following Brexit.

Trade union involvement in the management of climate policy tools is essential, such areas as carbon taxes for different fuels, standards and subsidies can make low-income households worse off relative to high-income households. We need input in to economic diversification and industrial policy, skills, social protection and governance for a socially Just Transition.

Despite all the work but unions and others unscrupulous employers can still cause life changing injures, recent HSE prosecutions included a quarry company who’s employee arm being pulled into the nip point between a conveyor belt and a rotating tail drum. Worse was it was the employees first day of work for the company and he suffered a serious injury to his arm and required several skin graft procedures and ongoing support.

Finally, whilst we are repeatedly told we need to work more a new Human Resource report showed that by the end of 2018, seventy seven per cent of employees had unused holiday left over. Clear evidence of presenteeism, workers are not getting the rest they need, bullied in to work.

As always, and in conclusion; we aim to provide the best advice and representation for our members and to:

*Ensure a safe working environment
*Promote occupational health
*Help members raise safety concerns
*Advance industry best practice
*Provide representation at national meetings
*Raise issues with other safety or government bodies

Our greatest assets are our Union Safety Representatives and we fully support them in their work.

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