SPAIN: The CCOO will closely watch the setting up of an asbestos fund

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The CCOO trade union confederation welcomes a proposed new law on the setting up of a fund for compensation of asbestos victims. The proposal is a response to a longstanding demand of the trade unions. But the CCOO will keep a very close watch on the discussions that will be held in parliament, to ensure that the fund becomes a reality and is an effective tool for the victims and their families.

According to Pedro J. Linares, the secretary for occupational health, the approval of the proposed new law in the Chamber of Deputies should help to improve patients’ rights and put an end to the obstacle course they face in court. This law would also guarantee compensation for workers who, given the long latency period of some of the diseases from which they are suffering, discover too late that the organization responsible for paying compensation has disappeared.

The CCOO will watch the parliamentary discussions on the government bill very closely, not only to keep contributing its expertise, its ideas and its cooperation, but also to ensure that the fund will properly allow for the consequences of asbestos exposure in the workplace, in the environment and in families, and cover all asbestos-related diseases, including the psychological disorders very often suffered by both the patients and their families.

According to Pedro J. Linares, issues remain to be solved, “such as making sure that everyone exposed to asbestos in one way or another has effective access to monitoring of their health, or working out a national plan for disposal of the thousands of tonnes of asbestos which are still in place in Spain, this plan being the only way to end the asbestos epidemic once and for all, as recommended by the European Parliament”.

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