Global unions respond to Nepal earthquake tragedy
Over 8800 people are confirmed dead following a massive earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April.
The tragic event has left over 23,000 more injured and damaged or destroyed more than 10 per cent of homes nationwide. Aftershocks continue to rock the region and have hampered relief efforts.
GEFONT, the Nepalese trade union federation, has been actively involved in relief efforts. The Garbage Cleaners’ Union have helped to clean makeshift camps to try to prevent the spread of disease, while other unions have distributed food and other supplies to those who need them. Unionised health workers are also using their skills and experience to aid relief work.
Globally, the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC, to which the PSA is affiliated through the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions) has helped to coordinate donations to GEFONT to help their work.
In addition, ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow called upon the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to suspend the laws that say migrant Nepalese workers can only leave the country with the permission of their employer.
“The Gulf countries and others such as Malaysia, which have profited so much from the sweat and toil of Nepalese people, should also contribute generously to the international aid effort,” Sharan Burrow