After the controversy that was unleashed in the last hours by the sending to Congress a draft of the Law of Mixed Committees of Safety, Health, Environment and Prevention of Risks at Work, the Government came out to clarify the point. The initiative had generated rejection in the business world, where they understood that government and trade union interference in the private sector would increase.
The person in charge of going out to the crossroads of the complaints that the businessmen expressed to the media was the head of the Ministry of Labor, Claudio Moroni. “This project he does not speak of state interference, does not speak of intervention of any kind. I give you as an example: the two most industrialized provinces in the country, which are Santa Fe and Buenos Aires, have had a law almost the same ten years ago, “he said in statements to AM 750.
The initiative, which was presented by the president Alberto Fernandez establishes the creation of a “Joint Committee for Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Prevention at Work”, which will be made up of union and company representatives. Will be mandatory in companies with 100 or more employees; in the smallest, delegates will have specific powers to act on issues related to safety and health.
Entrepreneurs’ fear of the bill
According to the information provided by the portfolio of Moroni, the law establishes mechanisms to determine the cessation of activities. “To ensure effective prevention and safeguarding the right to health and life, mechanisms are created to order the stoppage of the activity in exceptional situations where an imminent and serious risk could arise ”, they said.
That is one of the points that alerted entrepreneurs, who believe that will facilitate union pressure about companies. The law enforcement authority will be the Ministry of Labor, to whom any of the members of the Joint Committee may appeal if they consider that the measures adopted by the employer do not guarantee safety and health in the workplace.
“In cases where the respective enforcement authority verifies that non-observance of the regulations on occupational risk prevention implies, in its opinion, a serious and imminent risk to the safety and health of workers,” may order the immediate stoppage of such works or tasks”, Indicates article 7 of the draft.
Another of the business doubts goes through the real power that these mixed committees will have, that is, if their conclusions will be mandatory or not. In addition, many still do not understand what kind of debates will take place in these commissions, since the tasks of prevention of occupational hazards are currently carried out by the insurance companies (ART). According to what the Ministry of Labor reported, the project raises the need to joint between this new body and the regime already established in the Work Hazards Law.
The Government’s response to business concern
According to Moroni, no article of the bill favors State interference in the private sector. “All this project does is install a figure that is very well known in the world and is very old, that the International Labor Organization (ILO) has been proposing for 20 years that it should be installed, which is to set up mixed committees within the company with the same delegates who already are, this does not increase the number of delegates, to discuss the hygiene and safety conditions of the company, “said the official.
Regarding the functions of the Mixed Committees, the head of the production portfolio stressed that, in addition to safety and hygiene issues, this commission will deal with cases of violence or harassment. “There are many companies that go even further, companies where these committees also participate in defining certain criteria in the production line, so that they are more effective. They discuss productivity clauses, this already exists in many companies, it is an excellent tool, it is a place of trading channelIt seems that the only discussion is salary. Doesn’t health matter? ”, he said. And he concluded: “I try to understand where the state interference is in this and the truth is that I cannot find it.”
Another approach of Alberto Fernández to unionism
The presentation of this project is another gesture of rapprochement with trade unionism. Last week, Alberto Fernández met with the leadership of the CGT at Casa Rosada. There, the president proposed that they work together to promote the reactivation of economic activity.
At the end of that meeting, Hector Daer, a member of the CGT leadership, affirmed that the project generates areas of discussion where internal commissions and businessmen participate in solving problems.
Between the chores of the Mixed Committees, will be:
- Participate in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of the plans and programs of risks prevention, the promotion of safety and the protection of health and psychosocial risk factors in the workplace.
- Participate in the elaboration of the plans training in preventive matters.
- Contribute to the violence and harassment prevention at work as well as any other form of discrimination.
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