Is today the day you die at work?
“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