46. Improving the status of employees
Name-Sawai Ramin was spreading dynamite powder on a rock when some of the powder entered his eyes. He lost his eyesight because there was no protective equipment available at the workplace. Because of the pain, Ramin was no longer able to return to working life. The family with three children was now dependent on the meager income of his wife.
With the support of the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland SASK in 2015–2017, Name-Sawai Ramin and hundreds of other stone quarry workers have received compensation for occupational accidents and diseases. Because of the organization’s efforts, the Indian government now pays compensation to people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by stone dust and to the families of people that have succumbed to the disease. SASK also supported the work against child labour. As a result of the work, Indian legislation prohibited the use of child labour in stone quarries in 2016. A hotline was established for suspected cases of child labour. Employees’ social security has also been improved. The organization provided training in occupational safety in India and other countries. This means that cases such as Name-Sawai Ramin can be prevented in the future.
Photo: SASK, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta