On 28th April every year, the trade union movement around the world comes together to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD).
According to the Trade Unions Congress (TUC), ‘every year more people are killed at work than in wars.’ IWMD is a chance to remember those who have lost their lives in the workplace, or from work-related injuries and diseases.
29th May 2020 will mark sixty-nine years since the Easington Colliery disaster of 1951, in which eighty-three miners lost their lives.
IWMD an opportunity to fight for the rights of the living, as well as to remember the dead. It serves as a reminder to renew our efforts for union organisation, to fight for improvements in workplace safety, and highlight the preventable nature of many workplace incidents.
This year, IWMD will focus on Coronavirus, with the theme of the day being ‘stop the pandemic at work.’
The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect every worker around the world. Tens of thousands of workers have died, many of whom are on the frontline of the global response. Many more have fallen ill or, in continuing to go to work, are risking their lives on a daily basis. Similarly, many workers are working without the necessary protective equipment or safety measures in place. The stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic is also impacting the mental health of workers, many of whom are facing unprecedented financial uncertainty. As the TUC states, ‘we could not have a starker reminder of the important role of trade union health and safety reps in saving and protecting workers’ lives, than the current crisis we are living through.’
The TUC has compiled a comprehensive list of suggestions as to how people can mark the day in these unique circumstances. The suggestions include lighting a candle on the evening of Tuesday 28th April, and sharing a photo and message about who you’re remembering on social media. People can also register for a video call hosted by the TUC Education team at 2pm on the day, or organise an online campaign to call for stronger health and safety protections in the workplace.
Follow the link below for the full list: