The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to "Remember the Dead - Fight for the Living" - a day when Unions focus on both areas, by supporting events and memorials to remember all those killed, seriously injured and made ill through work but at the same time campaigning to ensure that such tragedies are not repeated by calling for stricter health and safety law enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health & safety laws.
The CWU as always will be supporting this event, which this eyar is even more pertinent given the General election on 6th May and the Concervative Party pledge to cut expenditure and health and safety legislation.
Dave Joyce, CWU National Health Safety and Environment Officer, writing to all CWU branches in LTB351/10 said:
"Workers are at much greater risk than is generally publicised. Up to 1,500 people are killed in work incidents every year. Up to 1,000 of those in work-related road incidents. Thousands more die from work-related illnesses such as cancers including Asbestos cancers. Almost every one of these deaths could have, and should have been prevented. Many more workers are made ill with Mental illness or Cardiovascular diseases caused by the stress, long hours, pressure, over work, bullying and harassment. Many more suffer musculo-skeletal problems caused by poor work design and too few breaks etc and so on."
Reminding us all that the Health and Safety standards, protection and law enforcement regime we now have today, were only gained by Trade Unions campaigning, Dave urged all trade union members to join one of their events scheduled to take place on Wednesday 28th April.
"This year's WMD is particularly pertinent in relation to the fact that the United Kingdom general election of 2010 will be held on 6 May to elect a new government and the 650 MPs to represent each of the 650 UK constituencies in the House of Commons. The governing Labour Party will be looking to secure a fourth consecutive term in office and to restore support lost since 1997. The Conservative Party will seek to gain a dominant position in UK politics after losses in the 1990s, and to replace Labour as the governing party. The Liberal Democrats hope to make gains from both sides with their most realistic ambition being to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament."
He went further reminding CWU members that:
"It's important Workers don’t let the next government risk lives at work and workers may well be voting for their long term safety standards!"
Warning of the threat to health and safety that a conservative Government would be, he said:
"TheConservative Party have gone on record that they will CUT health and Safety. The HSE will undoubtedly face big cuts in an organisation already struggling with a lack of resources and Inspectors. Local Authorities who employ Environmental Health Officers will also face the public sector cuts planned by the Tories if they win.
The Tories are committed to introduce a (proven-to-fail) system of Health and Safety whereby Employers will be empowered to introduce 'Self-Regulation' and 'Self-Auditing' along with which they can bar both HSE and Local Authority Inspectors from entering workplaces. The Tories have also published over recent years several reports listing a number of Health and Safety Regulations that they would either repeal or water-down to make them less effective, predominantly they want to weaken 'Risk Assessment' requirements which is the corner stone of the Health and Safety regime in the UK and across Europe."
You can download the CWU's WMD 2010 poster by clicking on the pic above.
TUC list of WMD events
Below is the up to date TUC list of WMD events that are happening up and down the country.
Please select one you can get to and encourage others in your Branch to support it with you.
London, South and Eastern
On WMD Weds 28th April, there will be a rally at 1pm in Central Park, Chelmsford, at the Memorial Tree, close to the lake and bowling green. There is also a Health & Safety Exhibition in Chelmsford Library's Public Square from 25 April to 1 May.
On WMD Weds 28th April, A Workers Memorial Day service will take place at 1pm at the London Borough of Waltham Forest's town hall complex at Forest Road, Walthamstow E17. All trade unions are welcome to attend. There will be a short service with speeches by TU Officials and then the laying of wreaths at the main Town Hall Flag Pole. Branch banners also welcome. Ribbons will be on sale with all donations given to charity. For further info e-mail Su Manning email@example.com
On WMD Weds 28th April, the Construction Safety campaign have organised a rally with speakers at the statue of the building worker opposite Tower Hill underground Station next to Tower Bridge at 9:30. This will be followed at 11:30 by a march from Pudding Mill lane to Olympic Westfield Site next to Stratford Station for Rally with speakers at 1pm. The Workers on the Olympic Park and Olympic Village sites will stop to observe a minute silence at 12 noon. For further details call: 07747795954
On WMD Weds 28th April, at 12 noon, there will be a wreath laying event and short service at the Memorial Tree in Penlee Park, Penzance (Use entrance above the Library). On Sunday 25th April, 6pm at Trinity Methodist Church, The Centre, Chywoone Hill, Newlyn, Penzance TR18 5AR there will be a WMD memorial service.
On WMD Weds 28th April, a wreath is to be laid on the day at 12 noon at Howard Davis Park at the workers memorial bench.
On WMD Weds 28th April, a small service with wreath laying is to be taken by the Dean of Guernsey at 11.am on the Albert Pier, St Peter Port, near the site of the granite workers memorial bench.
A Workers Memorial Day Commemoration event will be held at 12.30pm on Weds 28th April, at the Cenotaph, St Peters Square, in front of the Civic Centre and St Peters' church Wolverhampton WV1 1TS. There will be a Wreath laying ceremony and balloon release. Speakers include, Warinder Juss of Thompsons’ Solicitors, Nick Kelleher, Secretary WB&DTUC and Rev. Ruth Reynolds-Tyson, Industrial Chaplain.
A WMD Event and commemoration will be held between 12 noon and 1.00pm on WMD Weds 28th April, in the garden between St Mary’s Street and Bayley Lane, Coventry- All welcome
On Friday 30th April 2010, (Market Day), At 10:30am, there will be a parade where Representatives of several trade unions will carry a wooden coffin from Holy Trinity Shirebrook Church, Church Street, via Main Street to the Shirebrook Market Square. At the Market Square there will be a short service in which the local Vicar Reverend John Hargreaves and Industrial Vicar Harold Dobbin Industrial Chaplain to the Industrial Mission in Derbyshire will bless the coffin and say a prayer for all those who died at work. This will be followed by speeches by trade union representatives.
There will be a WMD Event and Celebration commencing at 12.30pm on WMD Weds 28th April, at St Philips Churchyard, Colmore Row, Birmingham. Organised by Birmingham Trades Union Council, jointly with the West Midlands Hazards Trust. Speakers include Richard Burden MP, Mary Pearson, Neil Vernon, Kathy Gafney, West Midlands Hazards Trust, and Dave Hughes, Birmingham TUC.
On WMD Wednesday 28th April - Meet at Brueton Gardens (opp Barley Mow Pub) at 12:30 for a WMD event and rally. Among the speakers will be the Lord Mayor of Solihull
On WMD Wednesday 28th April - Over 350 workers construction staff and office staff at the Skanska Kings Mill Hospital site in Mansfield will gather together to see the Unveiling of a commemorative plaque, 2 minutes silence will follow speeches given by S. Tavener (Skanska Project Director), S. Murphy (UCATT Midlands Regional Secretary) and other dignitaries. All Welcome.
On WMD Wednesday 28th April - Darlington Unison are holding a WMD stall in the Darlington town hall on Workers Memorial Day - all Trade Unionists are welcome to visit.
On WMD Wednesday 28th April - Dudley Trade Council have organised a WMD event at 12 noon Coronation Gardens, Priory Road, Dudley, (Opposite Council House). There will be a minutes silence at 12 noon followed by speakers from local trade unions.
On WMD Wednesday 28th April - There is a WMD celebration at 12 noon at the WMD Tree on the Green outside St.Matthews Church, Market, Walsall WS1 3DG
On Saturday 24th April - GMB Northants Community Branch invite Trade Union reps and members from all Unions to join them in commemorating Workers Memorial Day at the Steel Worker Statue, George Street, Corby, at 11.00 a.m. followed by light refreshments. All welcome.
On WMD Wednesday 28th April - - A Workers Memorial Day event will take place at St. John's Parish Church, Halesowen, commencing at 11.30 a.m. Speakers include Sylvia Heal MP and Joe Morgan, Regional Secretary of the GMB. All welcome.
Yorkshire and the Humber
A Service, laying of wreaths and rally at 10.30am on WMD Wednesday 28th April - at the Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Pelham Road Immingham. Anyone wishing to help support or wish to attend and lay wreaths please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A Service, laying of wreaths and rally at 1.00pm On WMD Wednesday 28th April. Location the Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Nunn’s Corner Grimsby. Anyone wishing to help support or wish to attend and lay wreaths please contact email@example.com
A Service, laying of wreaths and rally at 3.00pm on WMD Wednesday 28th April at the Workers Memorial in the Pier Gardens Alexandra Road Cleethorpes. Anyone wishing to help support or wish to attend and lay wreaths please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sheffield International Workers` Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at The Workers` Memorial Tree situated in front of the Sheffield Town Hall. The Ceremony will commence at 12.30 P.M. on WMD Wednesday 28th April - and be Addressed by The Lord Mayor of Sheffield and a number of other Speakers. Trade unions and organisations which support health and safety at work are requested to support the Ceremony by ensuring a good attendance and by providing wreaths and flowers. Further Info: Tel. 0114 2750744 or 2349737.
There will be a Worker’s Memorial Day event at the new Memorial Garden (Behind Bradford City Hall) at 12.00 noon on WMD Wednesday 28th April - There will be a minute’s silence and placing of wreathes and flowers at the new workers’ memorial plaque in the memorial gardens. A piper will play a lament to the dead and speeches will be made to remember the dead and encourage the fight for the living. UCATT is also requesting that Balfour workers take time out from the city centre construction and join in on the memorial.
Speakers will include Carol Duerden from Workers’ Health Advice Team, Bill Adams from the TUC and Terry Rooney MP for Bradford North. Bradford Council will also be lowering the flags on the City Hall as a mark of respect. An asbestos display is to be produced for the day and will be shown at the impression gallery to raise awareness that asbestos is still a big issue. For further information contact Jane Howe Bradford Area Safety Reps Association Tel: 01274 393949.
- Barnsley - A WMD ceremony will take place at the Cenotaph in front of Barnsley Town Hall at 12pm on Wednesday 28th April. This is the third year that Barnsley is holding this event. Mayor John Parkinson will be joined by Barnsley West and Penistone MP Mick Clapham, Chris Skidmore Yorkshire area NUM chairman will also be present along with author Dave Douglass. Councillor Joe Hayward will lead a plaque laying ceremony in the Town Hall Gardens to close the ceremony. For further information please contact Carol Gill at Carol.Gill@raleys.co.uk
- Leeds - Worker's Memorial Day event, 11am-1pm - Wednesday 28th April 2010. Leeds Met UCU have organised an event to be held at New Broadcasting Place, Leeds Metropolitan University, remembering workplace and environmental deaths/injuries on Workers’ Memorial Day. Speakers will include John Battle MP for Leeds West and Dr Hazel Hartley, and a two minutes’ silence. For Further information and to confirm attendance please contact John Douglas, UCU safety rep. email@example.com
On Sat 1st May. Service at 11:00 at Preston Flower Market followed by a short march to the Corn Exchange on Lune Street, where the Wreath laying ceremony takes place. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided at a local venue afterwards.
On Friday 30th April a WMD Memorial Service will take place in Astley Park, Chorley at the WMD tree starting at 6.00 pm prompt. This will be followed by a Health and Safety conference at Chorley Town Hall at 6.30 pm. Contact Steve Turner on 07838402614.
On Wednesday 28th April a Workshop for Health and Safety Reps will take place, starting at 9.30 am at the Mechanics Institute, Manchester. At 11.30 am there will be march to the Peace Gardens followed by a minutes silence at 12.00 noon. This will be followed by music from Claire Mooney and speakers including trade union safety reps and Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK).
On Wednesday 28th April a WMD commemoration will take place at 12 noon on the South Piazza of Georges Dock Building (Corner of Mann Island and the Strand), Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DD. Speakers to include representatives from local Trade Unions, the Business community, Asbestos Awareness Campaign and TU Solicitors.
- Wallsend. The Northern TUC is holding a Health and Safety Forum training day on WMD, Wednesday 28th April 2010 at the Memorial Hall in Wallsend. The training day will start at 10:00am with refreshments and registration. Following lunch, delegates will make their way to St Luke’s Church to attend a Workers’ Memorial Day service and banner blessing. Register interest or request more information from Melanie Lowden 0191 232 3175, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Workers Memorial Day Remembrance Service will take place on at 12.30pm, at Christchurch TIC & Art Gallery, Church Square, Hartlepool followed by a laying of the wreaths. Congregate at the training room in the Municipal Buildings, Church Square, from 12 noon for Tea, Coffee etc which will be available. A lone Scottish piper will be playing in Church Square from 11.45am and will ‘pipe’ guests and attendees from and back to Christchurch at 12.20pm to take their seats in time for the minutes silence at 12.30pm at the start of the service. After the Service the Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place at the Workers Memorial in Church Square.
Workers Memorial Day will be commemorated with a service of remembrance and wreath-laying at Clyde square Greenock, at 11:00 am. Following the service there will be a minutes silence followed by a lament from a lone piper.
There will be a health and safety/WMD seminar in the morning in the Town Hall, followed by WMD event and wreath laying ceremony at Persley Gardens Memorial.
There is a health and safety/WMD seminar at Bathgate Sports Centre between 10:00 am and 12 noon, followed by a WMD event and Ceremony at 12:30
There will be a WMD event and ceremony between 12 noon and 1.00 pm at Summerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge
There is a WMD event and wreath laying ceremony, at 12:30 at West Princes Street Gardens
There will be a WMD event and ceremony at 12 noon on 24th April at Clydebank Town Hall
There is a WMD event and wreath laying ceremony at 12:00 noon at Falkirk Town Hall
There is a WMD event and ceremony at Clyde Square at 11.00 am
There is a WMD event and ceremony at Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock. Assemble at Dower House at 11:00
The annual WMD commemoration will be held at 12:30 at George V Park, Bonnybrigg.
- Wales TUC will be holding WMD event and a balloon release to commemorate the workers who have been killed at work in the last ten years. The Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony will take place outside the National Assembly for Wales Senedd building in Cardiff Bay at 12.30pm on Wednesday 28th April 2010. There will be short speeches from Wales TUC General Secretary Martin Mansfield, Health and Safety Executive Divisional Director for Wales Terry Rose and from Thompsons Solicitors.
Fermanagh Council of Trade Union will be marking International Workers Memorial day at a ceremony in Brooke Park, Enniskillen at 7.00pm on Thursday the 29th of April 2010. This year the Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions have contacted the major employers in the county both public and private asking that they in co-operation with their workers carry out workplace inspections during the month of April. This year also marks the first year when Government officially recognise Workers Memorial Day after years of campaigning by the trade union movement. (The official date is 28th April) Speakers at the Fermanagh event will be Benny Cassidy - Chairperson of Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions - Robert Irvine - Chairperson of Fermanagh District Council and a representative from the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance. Following the WMD ceremony. Jim Quinn - Senior Organiser with UNITE the union - will dedicate a memorial bench to veteran trade unionist and former Chairperson of Fermanagh Council of Trade Unions (now deceased) Jim Brown. An open invitation is extended to everyone interested in promoting Health and Safety in the Workplace to attend. Contacts Mairead Stewart - Secretary - 02866323938 -Benny Cassidy - Chairperson - 07731710307 - Jim Quinn 07803136091