Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

February 21, 2007 07:35 ET

Amicus supports Action Mesothelioma Day

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 21, 2007) - Amicus, the UK's largest private sector union, is backing Action Mesothelioma Day (27th February 2007) by calling on its' members to commemorate the thousands of people who die every year from the asbestos related cancer by staging a minutes silence.

Many of Amicus' 1.2 million members are in sectors classified as having been, or still, high risk including construction, manufacturing, railways and shipbuilding.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have inhaled asbestos particles or been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres in their workplaces or through other work-related contact such as washing the work clothes of a family member.

In a recent case a young woman, Debra Brewer, has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma resulting from contact with her father as a child. Her father worked as a lagger at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth for five years during the 1960s and lagging has a high content of blue asbestos fibres whose clothes were covered in dust when he came home from work.

Amicus' General Secretary, Derek Simpson, said: "Many people have died needlessly from this most painful horrific disease. We will continue to fight for better working conditions, so our children do not suffer the same fate. We are determined that those who are affected by mesothelioma receive justice and get the care and support they need."

Amicus' Health and Safety Officer, Rob Miguel, said: "Mesothelioma can develop up to 60 years after exposure to asbestos and because of this long delay it has been calculated that the number of UK cases will continue to rise until 2015. At present, some 2000 people a year die from this terrifying disease in the UK and by 2050 it is anticipated that 95,000 people will have died from mesothelioma."

The British Lung Foundation headed up a campaign, which centred around 'The Mesothelioma Charter', which calls for better protection for employees, better care and treatment and more funding for research. It was presented to 10 Downing Street on 27 February 2006 with more than 14,000 signatures to mark the launch of the Action Mesothelioma campaign.

A poster for the workplace is available for Amicus members which can be downloaded from the Amicus website http://www.amicustheunion.org/pdf/MesotheliomaActonDayPoster.pdf

Amicus has also set up a national asbestos database which can make a vital difference between whether or not members and their families receive compensation, visit the Amicus website http://www.amicustheunion.org/Default.aspx?page=4024 for more information.

-Ends-

For further information please contact Rob Miguel on 07900 804911 or Ashraf Choudhury in the Amicus press office on 020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761

Contact Information

  • Amicus' Health and Safety Officer
    Rob Miguel
    07900 804911
    or
    Amicus press office
    Ashraf Choudhury
    020 7420 8914 or 07980 224761