Towards A Greener World and Workplace
Due to COVID our 20th Annual Conference went online and provided us with opportunities to attract international speakers from India and the United States. Sanjay Verma spoke of his experiences of Bhopal and his life as a Bhopal Campaigner and Rachel Massey form the Toxics Use Reducion Unit and University of Massachusetts Lowell told the online delegates about the work the institute does to tackle toxics use in the state
On the 3rd December 1984 one of the world’s worst toxic crimes was inflicted on the people of Bhopal, a gas leak from the local Union Carbide plant was to result in thousands of deaths and tragic environmental consequences that the Bhopali people have to live with to this day. Nearly 40 years later those who lost loved ones have not received justice, are ignored by the site’s new owners Dow Chemicals who refuse to accept Union Carbide’s liability, have not received adequate compensation, do not have access to clean uncontaminated mains drinking waters and worse still witness children born with birth defects directly related to the toxic poisoning of 1984. Sanjay Verma lost 7 members of his family, he was aged just 6 months old; his older brother, a campaigner for justice for Bhopal was later to take his own life, the 8th Verma family victim of Union Carbide’s negligence and Sanjay himself became a justice campaigner like his brother before him. Scottish Hazards, through the Trade Union Friends of Bhopal supports Sanjay and campaigning groups, the Bhopal Medical Appeal and the International Campaign for Justice for Bhopal in their fight for justice, please spend 10 minutes watching Sanjay’s story.
We are exposed to toxic substances everyday of our lives. In our workplaces, our communities, our homes and in the environment we face risks from toxins, unnecessary risks in many cases that could be removed or reduced by creating a Scottish Toxics Use Reduction similar to that in existence at the University of Massachusetts in America. Rachel Massie, Senior Associate Director joined us at our online conference to talk about the work of the TURI in Massachusetts and the legislation underpinning their highly successful work over the past 30 years. Our manifesto is seeking a commitment from political parties to establish an institute for toxics use reduction in Scotland and legislate to reduce toxics use in our workplaces and communities