Day of Mourning 2020 Statement


On April 28, Unifor joins workers across Canada to commemorate those injured or killed on the job. Collectively we are solemnly reminded that more needs to be done to protect the health and safety of workers – a particularly significant message during the crisis we face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we pause to reflect on the tragic, traumatizing and needless loss of life due to workplace injury and occupational disease, we also respond to the deaths that could have been avoided had employers and governments adequately responded to the current crisis. Essential frontline workers, particularly those in health care, are most at risk of contracting COVID-19. Unifor continues to fight for necessary prevention plans to save lives and minimize the risk of exposure to the virus by frontline workers across Canada.

We also take the time to remember workers across the globe who went to work and did not come home, especially the frontline workers who put their lives at risk everyday to serve the public, and those who are fighting for change.

Labour activists across Canada are demanding that employers take workers’ health and safety concerns much more seriously and that all levels of government reinforce the vital right to refuse unsafe work. Now more than ever before, the voice of workers must be heard and listened to, and acted upon.

The best way to control any hazard is to systematically eliminate or remove it from the workplace, rather than relying on workers to reduce their personal exposure. The hierarchy of controls must prevail in order to protect workers in all workplaces, regardless of size or location.  Since science on COVID19 is uncertain, we must follow “the precautionary principle” and err on the side of caution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a vibrant light on prevention shortcomings. Workers are leading the movement, and calls-to-action, for safer workplaces. Today we thank them for their commitment to creating safe workplaces for all.

As we reflect on the importance of the day, the union will also pause to remember two Unifor members who lost their lives at work since last year’s Day of Mourning:

  • John Iles | Local 222 Canada Cartage | December 23, 2019. 
  • Mohammed Hasan Bhai | Local 40 HBC Logistics | February 12, 2020


  • Share these images to your social media accounts to help spread awareness
  • Print and display this poster in your workplace
  • Observe a minute of silence at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 to honour those who have died
  • Join our Unifor team for the virtual walk “Steps for Life” to honour loved ones who died on the job

On April 28th fight for the living, and mourn for the dead.