ITUC OnLine – April 25, 2007

Brussels, 25 April 2007 (ITUC OnLine): Only a few days ahead of the 12th World Day for Safety and Health at Work, commemorating workers who died or were injured at work as a result of unsatisfactory production methods or working conditions, the ITUC urges the G8 to step up its efforts to tackle the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Almost 40 million people across the world are currently living with HIV, 80% of whom are adults. More than half of those infected form part of the active population and are between 15 and 49. Many workers who are no longer physically fit enough to go to work depend on their young children who then have to meet the family’s needs.

Despite being at the top of the global agenda – the fight against AIDS is one of the Millennium Goals – results remain poor. Trade unions already placed pressure on the G8 meeting last year. The 2006 summit made a commitment to taking practical measures to monitor AIDS and other infectious diseases, present reports and disseminate information. These commitments have not had the desired results.

Today, the ITUC reiterates its demand to the next G8 summit, to be held in early July in Germany, that the promised development aid and contributions to the Global Fund to fight this pandemic be released as soon as possible. This summit will bring together leaders from Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and Russia. The European Union will also attend.

“The G8 must keep the commitments it made last year and step up its efforts to stop this pandemic,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “It has the capacity to do so and must therefore make this a priority action for 2007.”

Only a few days ahead of the World day for Safety and Health at Work, the ITUC has released a video report on the working conditions of teamsters in Peru.