Health Risks lead women workers to demand reform of the Labour Code

21 November 2007 - 6:49pm
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The proposals are based on recent research conducted by CODMEUH that revealed that 75% of women workers in the garment industry have had symptoms of fatigue caused by excessive working hours and 92% suffer from muscular injuries related to repetitive movements. With the help of CODEMUH, injured workers can take time off to recuperate and receive incapacity benefits for a period of up to two months.

Demanding the enactment of the law The coordinator of the legal department at CODEMUH Noemi Dubon has said that many of the injuries sustained by workers are not addressed in the Labour Code, which is why CODEMUH considers it vital that their proposals are analysed and approved by National Congress.

Urging reform of Article V of the Labour Code The project proposes that incapacity benefits as well as work related injury benefits be included in Article V. The initiative emphasises the prevention of injuries and accidents by placing greater responsibilities and penalties on factory owners and on the authorities. The proposed reform also highlights the revision of guidelines that hinder access by workers to compensation. It also calls for an increase of funds in the case of death and temporary incapacity as well as compensation of 2,190 days salary in the case of permanent incapacity and death. Other aspects of the reform of Article V is the establishment of a management system capable of dealing with health, safety and environmental issues and greater psychological support, rehabilitation, orthopaedic treatment for injured workers. It is also proposed and that all workers should be registered with the Honduran Institute for Social Security (IHSS) to enable their access to health care.

Honduras may be subjected to greater international demands The director of CODEMUH, Maria Luisa Regalado indicated that the majority of women who are incapacitated as the result of excessive work are aged between 28-30 years. The average work life for these factory women is ten years after which they are rendered totally incapable and live without health insurance or even social security, which only covers three months of unemployment. If the National Congress does not take the reforms seriously, they could be internationally condemned for breaching the human rights of their workers. Currently there are over 120 thousand people employed in garment factories, all of whom could benefit from the proposed reforms.

WOW hopes that Honduran garment workers, through organisations like CODEMUH, are successfully in having the reform approved and there will be a day a when they no longer have to worry about sustaining injuries at work, their livelihoods and families as they will have adequate protection from the law.

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