Industrial diseases are not disappearing

Thursday June 20th 2019

Midlothian Miners

Letter written by Midlothian View reader, Alex Bennett

Sir

As someone who has represented miners, and other industrial workers, there is no move by the Government to set up an Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) – this was devolved to Scotland in 2015 – 4 and half years later still nothing has happened!

Industries like mining, steel making and ship building are disappearing, but diseases are not! In the former Lothian’s coalfield over the last year – 20 new cases of coal workers Pneumoconiosis have been reported to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and we are dealing with the DWP in England under the Industrial Benefits Scheme.

Most of the industrial diseases are laid out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which is worldwide. We are crying out for an IIAC which last met in Scotland in 2014. The SNP are always wanting more powers for Scotland but when they get them they don’t use them – you cannot blame Westminster forever!

At the last meeting of the IIAC in Scotland in 2014 the NUM was represented by Scotland, Durham, Yorkshire, Nottingham, South Wales and some other unions, but no one from the STUC who are the voice of Scotland’s trade unions as the TUC have seats on the UK IIAC. I would expect the STUC to have seats on Scotland’s own Industrial Injuries Advisory Council – we need answers from the Scottish Government and the STUC why the devolved powers are not being implemented.

Alex Bennett
Danderhall

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