ELA leaves the Navarra Occupational Health Council (Consejo Navarro de Salud Laboral)

Dec 18, 2018
The goal proposed by ELA at the beginning of the legislature was the democratisation of bodies participating in the institutions. The Government has brought an end to the anti-democratic exclusion suffered by ELA and LAB and the participation of the trade unions in the Occupational Health area has been opened up. Although in the beginning, some decisions were made (improvement in training of the prevention delegates), it was soon obvious that the Government did not have a firm position regarding modifying occupational health policies. We have not managed to make the Occupational Health Council useful for improving the living conditions of the working classes.

ELA reports that the Government of Navarra is using the Council solely as an image that it is working towards occupational health, whilst in practice it empties it of content and it delves deeper into the social concertation that has caused so much damage. ELA is not prepared to take any part in this staging.

Events in recent months have been highly clarifying. This summer we have suffered a mortality rate that has not been seen for a very long time, with 12 deaths in just two months. When ELA and LAB wanted to cover proposals to face up to this very serious situation at the Council, the Government called an extraordinary meeting to manage the surplus from the mutual societies, which means using the accumulated money from work contributions for subsidies for CCOO, UGT and CEN.

Following this, when ELA and LAB presented proposals to reduce accidents at work, no response has been received. We demand the Government to make a the transfer of the Work Inspection a top priority and that, while this transfer is being processed, means should be put in place for the inspection work and in this way be enabling the European average for inspectors to be reached. Likewise, we demand for safety at work also to be a priority in the activity of Basque Regional Police Force. Another request was the enlargement of the planned budget for the Occupational Health Action Plan, but this has not occurred; to the contrary, in the 2019 budget no resources are included for this item. And what is even worse, there is an entry of 400,000 Euros for occupational health plans framed in the last Intersectorial Agreement signed by CCOO, UGT and CEN, in spite of the fact that this was not debated during the Council. Therefore, there is no wish to take ELA and LAB’s demands into consideration at the Council, but there is no problem to provide funds for something agreed upon outside it by CEN, UGT and CCOO.

The main cause of accidents at work is job insecurity and company greed. Therefore, ELA considers that a firm attitude towards these employers who extend instability and the existence of sufficient resources are essential in order to be able to move forward in the improvement of occupational health. The Government of Navarra has no intention to do anything on this point and therefore, ELA will not legitimate these policies that are contrary to the interests of the working classes by its presence on the Council. We will continue proposing specific steps to both companies and the Government to improve occupational health in the corresponding place: the streets.