Workers Memorial Day 2013
The case for health and safety at work has been powerfully and tragically made in the last year by incidents involving hundreds maimed and injured.
Many have been young women in Asia. In the Dhaka clothing factory collapse this week around 300 are believed to be dead as rescuers continue the search for bodies.
Fires in Karachi and other places in Pakistan killed over 300 in clothing and shoe factories, while in January the Brazil nightclub fire killed at least 230. There have been regular workplace disasters in China.
The explosion in Texas last week, along with repeat offences in the oil industry, show that workplace catastrophes are not some developmental hitch of capitalism, but a permanent feature, there at all stages of its lifecycle given a chance.
In Texas the US unions say this plant was non-union, not inspected by regulators for over five years, probably not properly licensed and that workers were afraid to report faults. That is a situation now in lots of workplaces in Britain.
In London last year 21 people went out to work and did not come home because of industrial accidents.