Gard: Adeva's long fight for victims of asbestos and occupational diseases

Gard: Adeva's long fight for victims of asbestos and occupational diseases

President Bernard Gibert and the members of the Board work tirelessly, voluntarily. C. C. – Midi Libre

Gard: Adeva's long fight for victims of asbestos and occupational diseases

The members approved the important changes to come: purchase of premises in Salindres and evolution of the name of the association. C. C. – Midi Libre

Gard: Adeva's long fight for victims of asbestos and occupational diseases

Lawyer Julie Andreu. She works within the Marseille firm Teissonnière, a specialist in these files, and which has supported Adeva Gard in the Rhone since its creation. C. C. – Midi Libre

Gard: Adeva's long fight for victims of asbestos and occupational diseases

Soixante personnes ont assisté à l'assemblée générale. C. C. – Midi Libre

L’association accompagne depuis 2006 les victimes et leurs familles dans de longs parcours juridiques. Née et basée dans le Gard rhodanien, elle se déploie dans tout le département et compte 500 adhérents. Elle a tenu son assemblée générale vendredi, à Laudun-l'Ardoise. 

The general assembly of the Adeva Gard Rhone which was held on Friday in Laudun began with a minute of silence in memory of the victims. Then with this reminder: "According to Public Health, 100,000 deaths attributable to asbestos are expected by 2050." The volunteers of the association created in 2006 work full-time on the cases of victims of asbestos and occupational diseases, long, heavy, tedious journeys for victims of Gard and beyond. 81 files are in progress. Over the years, "we have condemned the CEA of Marcoule, Areva (Orano), EDF…" Eighteen times, companies have been condemned for "inexcusable fault of the employer". Recently, reports Vice-President Georges Oromi, the Nîmes social affairs court condemned ArcelorMittal, in the cases of two men who worked at L’Ardoise. "One has a very serious illness, he is on oxygen constantly. He was compensated to the tune of €190,000. This case lasted three years with appeals. The second was very ill and died. Arcelor was ordered to reimburse the costs of the proceedings, the compensation goes to its beneficiaries."

"We have pitfalls but your files have contributed to changing case law and working conditions" 

The problem of diseases linked to the work of farmers and the use of pesticides was widely discussed. "A study estimates the number of employees suffering from work-related cancer at 12,000 cases per year. Only 1,800 cases are recognized by the branch “work accident, occupational disease”", reported President Bernard Gibert. "This doesn’work out all the time. But the battle is worth it, testified Maître Julie Andreu, from the Marseille specialist firm Teissonnière, loyal to Adeva from the start. We have pitfalls but your files have contributed to changing case law and working conditions." The registration of certain diseases in the table of occupational diseases is long and complex so "scientific studies have proven it for a long time", she regrets. "The number of illnesses recognized by Social Security is minimal. It would have to be multiplied by ten to be closer to reality,” confirms occupational physician Benoît de Labrusse. The lawyer also testified to the slowness of the Nîmes court, "we are considering a new procedure for unreasonable delay in summons before the court".

Raise awareness among elected officials: "All mayors are confronted with asbestos in municipal buildings"   

Another fight of the association is to promote the development of alternative solutions to the landfilling of asbestos waste. "It is very complicated to have constructive answers on the subject of recycling center which could possibly recover asbestos in the conurbation of Alès", regret the members of the CA, who, for a year, have been making appointments with local elected officials. They will continue this awareness-raising work, especially since "all mayors are confronted with asbestos in municipal buildings". "We have solutions for the eradication of asbestos", shared Bernard Leclerc, vice-president of Cavam (grouping of 23 associations representing 8 000 members). The latter came from Lorraine and presented the project of establishing a factory in his sector which could destroy 50 million tonnes of asbestos waste per year.

"It’s difficult to make oneself heard by the CPAM, the courts and tribunals, and the government. But we must not give up", invited lawyer Julie Andreu. "All volunteers will continue tirelessly" concluded the president, triggering applause.

Volunteers are on call in several towns in the department: at  Pont-Saint-Esprit, every second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., room 1.32 from Cazerne Pépin (tel. 06 77 10 07 05). For the sector of Alès, this happens at Salindres, the third Wednesday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 70 B rue Henri-Merle or by appointment (tel. 07 72 22 35 04). At Bagnols-sur-Cèze, the last Friday of the month from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Maison des associations (tel. 06 37 30 53 18). At Nîmes, the last Wednesday of the month, at Mas Verdier, rue Guy-de-Maupassant (tel. 06 32 34 23 53 or 06 85 38 33 94). On the Vaucluse side, at Orange, in the Isover works council room (tel. 07 83 94 89 43).

Change in the title of the association and plan to purchase premises

Two important developments have been made. presented by the Board during this meeting. If the association has been established created in the Rhone Gard, seat of an important industrial basin, the volunteers work for employees or withdrawn from all of Gard and neighboring departments. The Board of Directors presented to the members (sixty were present out of around 500 members in total) a reflection on a change of title, < em>"less restrictive". Change approved. Adeva Gard Rhone becomes Adeva Gard Occitanie. "We are almost the only association à do this work in Languedoc-Roussillon, or even Occitanie." The association which operates without subsidies will perhaps be able to claim to be aid from the Region. "The utopia is to try to develop the association in our region which is a desert. Other associations do not take action against the employer for inexcusable misconduct. They are responsible for our illnesses. They have to pay , explains vice-president Georges Oromi. Another significant development: the head office of the association will have to be transferred to Paris. from Pont-Saint-Esprit à Salindres, where Adeva opened a location in 2019 and hired new employees. a technical secretary. "The Salindres office has become a nerve center. We receive receptions every day there." However, the building in which the premises are located ready& ;eacute; by the town hall is sold. The association recently learned that it was going to have to leave the premises. Neither one nor two, the president and the vice-president looked for help. oacute; a solution, went around Salindres. "We foundé a place and we plan to buy it." 

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