Workers remember those killed on the job
OTTAWA ... On Friday, flags will be lowered and working people across the country will take a few moments to remember their friends, family and colleagues who have died from workplace injuries. For the past 22 years, April 28 has been recognized as a National Day of Mourning to both reflect and focus on making Canadas workplaces healthier and safer.
-People go to work so they can build a better life for themselves and their families. Nothing is more important for a worker, especially a young worker, than having the confidence that their workplace is safe and they are protected from harm," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, who is marking the day with workers at a ceremony in Kamloops, British Columbia.
But Georgetti says Canadas employers and governments are failing on this front, and working people are paying for this failure with their health and their lives.
In 1984 when the Canadian Labour Congress initiated April 28 as the National Day of Mourning, there were 744 workers listed as having died from workplace injuries. Twenty years later, in 2004, that number stood at 928. Thousands upon thousands continue to have their bodies wounded and their lives scarred by preventable workplace injuries, disease, violence, harassment and stress.
-Canadian laws, regulations and collective agreements have some of the strongest provisions in the world to protect workers on the job. But they only work when governments enforce the rules and when employers comply with their obligations," says Georgetti.
Day of Mourning ceremonies take place every year in communities across the country. For information about an event close to you, click here.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 135 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca