Each year on April 28, union members and their allies from across the country gather, light candles, and wear ribbons to pay their respects and remember the thousands of women and men who have been killed or injured, or have suffered illnesses as a result of work-related incidents.
First recognized over 25 years ago, the National Day of Mourning is an opportunity to honour the numerous families, colleagues, and friends whose lives have been significantly impacted by workplace tragedies. The day is also a time to reaffirm our vow to help eliminate preventable workplace deaths, injuries, and illnesses on the job.
Recent statistics show that in 2017, over 950 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada. Among these horrific tragedies were four young workers aged 15-19; and nineteen workers aged 20-24. In that same year, there were over 250,000 claims accepted for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease.
In honour of those lives affected, we must work together to strengthen workplace health and safety standards across Canada, with the goal of preventing further injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
Activists are also encouraged, if possible, to attend Day of Mourning events in their communities, or pause for a moment of silence at 11 a.m., on April 28.
On the National Day of Mourning, let us remember those who have been injured or killed on the job and the lives affected by these preventable tragedies. Let us also renew our commitment to ensure that our number one priority is always the health and safety of workers.