What is Workers Memorial Day?
Each year, on April 28, Steelworkers across North America take time to honor and remember those killed or injured on the job. Workers Memorial Day is observed in the U.S. on the anniversary of the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In Canada the day is called the Workers’ Day of Mourning and was officially recognized in 1991.
In 1996 a Global Union Delegation lit a commemoration candle at the United Nations in New York to highlight the plight of workers who die, are injured or become ill. This day has been officially endorsed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as an International Day of Mourning. Every year on April 28, unions, communities and worksites in nearly one hundred countries recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job.
What can your local do?
- Request your employer to commit to a minute of silence for workers who’ve died on the job
- Fly the flag at half staff for the day/week or maybe lay a wreath at the flag pole or plant entrance
- Make April 28th a Safety Day to do some training
- Distribute Workers Memorial Day posters, stickers and information from the AFL-CIO
- Hold a candle light ceremony remembering the fallen workers
- Erect a permanent memorial at the Union hall or wall of remembrance
- Contact the family of the lost workers offering condolence
- Join in with the Area Labor Council or Federation ceremony
- Build your ceremony using this checklist
Let us know what your local does to observe Workers Memorial Day by sending an email to email@example.com with a description and photos of your activities.
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