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Supporting SAICM implementation. Trade Unions for a Sustainable Management of Chemicals

The publication outline trade union demands for progress towards the 2020 goal and portray what unions are already doing to reduce workers risk and to accelerate a sustainable management of chemicals at their workplaces. Experiences from Spain, Uruguay, United States and Africa, on key risks such as carcinogens, asbestos or pesticides are shown.

Sound management of chemicals: key for improving workers´ and communities´ health in Latin America

Main achievements and results of the Projects implemented by  Sustainlabour with support from the Quick Start Programme (QSP) of SAICM

TUCA and Sustainlabour launch a manual on chemical risk reduction in the workplace

A guide for Latin American Unions, union training centers, prevention delegates in OHS joint committees. A guide to be used in workplaces all over the continent.

Download it here (only in Spanish)


Unions4Climate. Reducing emissions from the workplace and creating jobs. 4 European Case Studies.

The four case studies presented here, which cover commitments from British, Spanish, Belgian and German trade unions, detail union proposals on emission reductions and other climate-related policies and their impact on national contexts, economic perspectives and job creation.      

National Report: Chemicals in El Salvador

According to a recent survey, 19% of workers say they are exposed to chemical substances in their workplaces. More than half of those handling hazardous substances directly do so without any protection.

This is one of the many alarming revelations concerning chemical risk and the workplace, that were uncovered while writing up the National Report "Chemicals in El Salvador: Major risks by industry, policy and impact on workers and the environment". The report was carried out by analyzing existing data and literature, along with governmental and trade union representative field interviews. The report seeks to identify the issue's main needs and challenges, and also to determine what tools are available for safe management of chemical substances.

National Report: Chemicals in the Dominican Republic

Although the country has a strong occupational health and safety regulatory framework in place, a low level of compliance on behalf of companies persists, and the Ministry of Labour has a reduced capacity to act. With respect to chemical substances, even though these are recognized as a significantly high professional risk factor, there is no specific provision in labour health and safety regulations.

Moving beyond the workplace, the issue of exposure to chemical substances is a matter of real concern. According to data from the Human Development Report 2008, some 66% of people are acknowledged to live near a source of environmental contamination. Some of the key factors of worry are: the use of pesticides in agriculture; the use of mercury, mainly in traditional gold mining; contamination of land and water due to leachates from landfill sites; industrial pollution (in fact, the industrial area of Bajos de Haina is considered to be one of the ten most polluted places in the world), wastewater discharges, and so on.

The report "Chemical Substances in the Dominican Republic. Main risks by sector, by policy and by impacts on workers and the environment", draft by Sustainabour,  seeks to identify the main needs and challenges, as well as the tools available, to advance the sound management of chemical substances.

Non Communicable Diseases and Environmental determinants

New Publication on NCDs: Environmental factors one of the main causes of preventable deaths 

Civil Society Groups release, in cooperation with UNEP, first publication about non-communicable diseases and environmental determinants. Sustainlabour's input on occupational risks. 

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are now the leading cause of preventable morbidity and related disability, and thus significantly affect the wellbeing of many individuals and workers‘ daily lives. NCDs cause 60 per cent of all deaths worldwide and 18 out of 35 million annual deaths related to NCDs are women.

Green Jobs and related policy frameworks: An Overview of South Africa

Green jobs to reduce unemployment -in particular for young workers-,  to increase jobs quality and to shift the economy from its energy-intensive growth model? A new report from Sustainlabour on plans and state of the art.

Sustainlabour presents an overview of green jobs' data in South Africa, the possible scenarios for creating new jobs, the South African policy framework for promoting them, what social actors are doing in general, and in particular what is being demanded by trade unions. The report has been count with the collaboration of TIPS (Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies)


This report is part of the Social Dialogue Project for Green and Decent Jobs. South Africa-European Dialogue on Just Transition, funded by European Commission.

Green Jobs in the European Union: an overview



Sustainlabour presents a report that draws on the experiences of green job creation in the region in recent years: employment data, EU policies, trade union and  social actors inputs.

The European Union has undoubtedly been a pioneering region when it comes to investing in sustainable sectors and in green job creation. Due to European regulatory policies, of which a compilation is included in this study, the European economy has been creating business opportunities and employment in environmental sectors. According to the data available there are around 7.36 million jobs in the EU in green sectors (renewable energy, energy efficiency, efficient construction, organic agriculture, waste management and recycling).

This report is part of the Social Dialogue Project for Green and Decent Jobs. South Africa-European Dialogue on Just Transition, funded by European Commission.


Un updated version of the Climate Change Manual for Unionists

Now available the new version of our training guide on Climate Change. The previous version made that may trade unionists started to understand the problem. This version offers up dated information, data and graphics. 

Access to information and training is necessary to improve working conditions. The purpose of this manual is to provide workers and trade unions with general information and guidance on how to deal with climate change.

The manual targets mainly workers and trade unions, both from developing countries and countries with economies in transition from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The manual is elaborated for women and men, workers, who are in industry, agriculture, government and other public or private sectors, to enable them carefully consider the potential risks and opportunities of climate change as regards employment, and take appropriate actions at the local, national or international levels.

It’s time to start understanding the problems in order to be able to take part in solving them. We wish a pleasant, action-oriented learning experience.

Ths training guide is part of the joint project with UNEP: Towards green and sustainable jobs


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Fighting toxic work

ITUC´s World Congress - Panel Debate: No jobs on a dead planet (in Spanish)

Time to Tackle Climate Change

Sharan Burrow message at the side event at UNEP Governing Council February 2013

EU Climate Action Commissioner Message at the EU-South Africa Dialogue on Green Jobs

EU Employment Commissioner at the EU-South Africa Dialogue on Green Jobs

Contribution from Tarja Halonen, to the 2nd Trade Union Assembly on Labour and Environment

Contribution Connie Hedegaard to the 2nd Trade Union Assembly on Labour and Environment.

Contribution from Michelle Bachelet to the 2nd Trade Union Assembly on Labour and Environment

Climate Change: Making it Happen

Climate change: A call to action

Climate Change: Unions in Green

The Way Forward - Climate Change

Seminar on Chemical Risk - CUT Chile (Spanish)

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