Workers Memorial Day – 28th April

Worker's Memorial DayEach year on 28 April, International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) is marked around the world to “Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living”. We remember those killed, made ill, or injured by their own or someone else’s work. Their pain and suffering and that of their families  should not to be forgotten. We also renew our commitment to, and demand once more, safe and healthy work for all.

Using the UK government’s own figures, every year at least 20,000 die from injuries and illness related to their job, but many believe that this is an under-estimate, and that the truer figure is closer to 50,000.

However, the government continues to attack the protection we all receive from good health and safety practice. So called low-risk workplaces will no longer receive unannounced health and safety inspections. However the government’s own figures suggest that of those killed whilst at work, over half are in so called low risk workplaces. This doesn’t include the thousands more who die from diseases caused or made worse by work, or those who suffer years of pain and disability caused by stress, violence, and other work related injuries and illnesses.

IWMD14 - Manchester With health and safety inspectors deliberately undermined by government cuts and unable to stop bad employers breaking the law, the work that union safety reps do is all the more important.

That’s why we are asking UNISON branch safety officers and safety reps to make sure they do something to mark International Workers Memorial Day. Please see below for resources and information.

Events 2015

Bolton – Sunday 26th April 11.30am for a Rally on Town Hall Square followed by a minutes silence at noon. Tuesday 28th April Town Hall Square 11.30am for Leaflet and ribbon distributions, followed by a minutes silence at 12noon.

Bury – Tuesday 28 April 2105 from 11:30am. Wreath laying ceremony in Whitehead Gardens (opposite the UNISON office on Knowsley Street) starting at 11.30am. Please meet up beforehand at the branch office, or just join us at the “UNISON tree”. There will be a minutes silence at 12 noon.

Chorley – Friday 24 April 2015 at 5:50pm at the Park Gates, Park Road, Chorley.

Liverpool  - Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 1pm on the South Piazza of Georges Dock Building (Corner of Mann Island and the Stand), Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 1DD.

Manchester – Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 12noon in Albert Square. Followed by meeting at the People’s History Museum at 1:30pm. IWMD Manchester Flyer

Preston – Saturday 25 April 2015, meet at Preston Flag Market at 11:45am. Followed by a march to the Corn Exchange.

Rochdale – Tuesday 28 April 2015 at 1:00pm in the memorial gardens opposite the Town Hall.

Salford - Tuesday 28 April 2015, wreath laying at 12:15pm in the gardens outside the front entrance to Salford Civic Centre, Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 5AW.

How can you mark IWMD and support the campaign for safe and healthy work?

  • Find out what is happening locally in your region.  Contact your local TUC, hazards campaign group, or UNISON region; and support any event.
  • If there isn’t one, organise a workplace event, perhaps jointly with your employer.  Use the Day to reinvigorate the campaign for better health and safety, or to discuss a workplace health and safety concern with members, non-members, and the employer.  Many UNISON branches have successfully organised and recruited around local health and safety concerns.
  • If relevant, focus on the theme for this year which is “removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace”.
  • Use our materials, including UNISON’s poster and leaflet for IWMD 2015.
  • Don’t forget to wear the purple “forget me knot” ribbon and join the minutes silence at 12 midday on the Day.
  • Take a “Health and Selfie” – take a picture of yourself holding a card with a message supporting health and safety, and tweet it to @UNISON_HS, your local MP and press using #HealthandSelfie and #IWMD15.  Your message could include – “Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living – health and safety, for workers, clients, patients, and children.” Or “Safe and healthy workplaces = safe schools, safe hospitals, and safe communities.”

Let’s make this IWMD campaign a bigger success than even last years.