On April 28, the National Day or Mourning, let us pause to pay tribute to all workers hurt or killed on the job through injury or employment-related illness and to remember the loss of six Unifor brothers who lost their lives at work since the last Day of Mourning in 2016.
Henry van Van Dijk, Local 144, Winnipeg, MB, April 26th, 2016
Régis Tremblay, Local 1210, Roberval, QC, July 17, 2016
Eugene Walsh, FFAW-Unifor, Shea Heights, NL, September 6th, 2016
Keith Walsh Sr., FFAW-Unifor, Shea Heights, NL, September 6th, 2016
Keith Walsh Jr., FFAW-Unifor, Shea Heights, NL, September 6th, 2016
Lawrence (Laurie) Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor, Calvert, NL, April 5th, 2017
Along with marking the lives lost, Unifor also recognizes that 2017 is the 25th anniversary of the devastating Westray coal mine explosion, when 26 Nova Scotia miners were killed on May 9, 1992. Following this disaster labour fought for enhanced legislation, known as the Westray law, to hold managers and directors of corporations to account for failure to protect the lives of workers and be held criminally responsible for injury or death.
On this Day of Mourning Canadian unions unite in the call to “Remember Westray. Enforce the law.” In honour of the miners and all who have died while working to earn a living, Unifor calls on the federal government for stronger enforcement of the Westray law, with increased safety inspections and harsh penalties for those who would protect profit over people.
The pain of the injured and lives of those lost must not go unrecognized and unaccounted for. This is why the Day of Mourning must also be an opportunity to renew the fight for the living. Let the lives lost be a call to action for every worker to demand a change in workplace cultures and practices to ensure all workers return home safe and sound.
On Friday April 28, please take a moment at 11:00 a.m. to pay tribute to lost and injured workers and to commit to prevention. Check with your local Labour Council or Labour Federation for information on ceremonies and vigils in your area.
Download the day of mourning poster click here.
Download all Day of Mourning shareables (zipped).
For more information on how you can stay safe on the job visit unifor.org/healthandsafety.