STUC urges cross party support for victims of Pleural Plaques

March 11th 2009

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has welcomed Government plans to compensate pleural plaques victims ahead of the Stage 3 debate of the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Bill.

Speaking ahead of the debate Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said

“The STUC has always believed that the decision by the House of Lords was illogical and failed to recognise the psychological harm suffered by plaques victims who, once diagnosed, live with the fear that they could eventually succumb to mesothelioma.

“Throughout the last century insurance and asbestos companies were fully aware of the dangers of asbestos and spectacularly failed to protect the health, safety and welfare of tens of thousands of asbestos workers and members of the public exposed to this substance.

“Yet again we see the insurance industry warning that Scottish companies face increased insurance premiums as a result of the Scottish Parliament using its powers to amend Scots law to ensure victims get compensation and justice.

“If this transpires to be true then the anger of companies in this situation should be directed at the insurance industry, who wrote the business, and the companies who caused the harm and certainly not the innocent victims.

“The STUC, once again, welcomes the efforts of asbestos groups and their lawyers in fighting another injustice and we would hope that this Bill receives the cross party support it deserves.”

ENDS

For further information contact Ian Tasker Assistant Secretary STUC 0141 337 8100

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