Workers’ Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year. All over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.
Workers’ Memorial Day will for the third year running take place during the week of CWU Annual Conference and therefore will be commemorated on the day by Conference with a minute’s silence, delegates wearing the special Workers’ Memorial Day purple ribbons along with commemorative Workers’ Memorial Day pens.
Workers’ Memorial Day 28th April falls on the last day of the industrial conferences and the Deputy General Secretaries P and T&FS will give a short special address as part of the commemoration prior to the minute’s silence.
Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic "accidents". They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers. The day is also intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”.
In 2016 the theme for the day is "Strong Laws – Strong enforcement – Strong Unions" because across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the Government have removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission are pursuing a dangerous de-regulatory strategy.
However, strong laws are not enough, if they are not going to be enforced. That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the laws. Here in the UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years, however in many other countries enforcement has always been non-existent. That is why we also need strong unions.
Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the Government is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.
The TUC coordinates activities across the country, publishing a comprehensive listing of events and suggestions. A listing of the global activities is available from the Hazards website.
Workers’ Memorial Day 28 April 2016
Remember the dead – but fight for the living
“Strong Laws – Strong enforcement – Strong Unions"