Is to­day the day you die at work?

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

“Is to­day the day you die at work?”

It’s not the most pleas­ant of thoughts, but the graves of thou­sands of peo­ple who went to work not think­ing it would be their last day on the job stretches across Canada and around the world.

It’s also this year’s theme for the 2009 Na­tional Day of Mourn­ing spon­sored by the Cana­dian Labour Congress (CLC).

Closer to home, mem­bers of the Bac­calieu Trail District Labour Coun­cil (BTDLC) will join fam­i­lies from the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion to mourn the pass­ing of those who have lost their lives on the job.

This year’s event is sched­uled to take place Tues­day, April 28 at the Con­cep­tion Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Carbonear.

In prepa­ra­tion for the event District Labour Coun­cil mem­bers turned out at the Carbonear Town Hall last Wed­nes­day to wit­ness Mayor Sam Slade sign a procla­ma­tion declar­ing April 28 as a Day of Mourn­ing in the town.

The District Labour Coun­cil has been hold­ing the Day of Mourn­ing since 2003 when they formed a com­mit­tee and started com­pil­ing the names of work­ers from through­out the district who have died from work­place ac­ci­dents.

Their names have been en­graved on a per­ma­nent memo­rial, which was do­nated by the coun­cil. The plaque hangs in the Com­mu­nity Cen­tre’s main foyer. The District Labour Coun­cil con­tin­ues to search for other names to up­date their list and add them to the memo­rial.

This year also marks the sil­ver an­niver­sary of the day 25 years ago when the Cana­dian Labour Congress first de­clared April 28 as a Na­tional Day of Mourn­ing for work­ers killed or in­jured on the job. The day is set aside to help raise pub­lic aware­ness of the thou­sands of work­ers whose lives were for­ever changed and the hun­dreds who die ev­ery year.

The day was of­fi­cially rec­og­nized when the Cana­dian Par­lia­ment passed the Work­ers Mourn­ing Day Act in 1990 to for­mally rec­og­nize April 28 as a Day of Mourn­ing across the coun­try.

Day of action

Aside from a day of re­mem­brance, it is also rec­og­nized as a day of action to im­prove work­place health and safety.

Unions and work­ers say they are “lead­ing the way to­wards stronger laws that force em­ploy­ers to en­force bet­ter work­place prac­tices.”

A spokes­woman for the BTDLC said:“In many coun­tries lives are be­ing saved from need­less ruin as em­ploy­ers com­ply and work­place deaths and in­juries de­cline.”

BTDLC pres­i­dent Debbie McCarthy said: “Sadly, Canada is not one of those places. The num­ber of peo­ple killed at work

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