Our Ref: HSR/4/14
Head Office Circular: NP/132/21
26th April 2021
To: The Secretary
ALL SHIPPING BRANCHES
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY: WEDNESDAY 28TH APRIL 2021- MINUTE SILENCE AT MIDDAY TO COMMEMORATE FIGHT AGAINST COVID - 19 PANDEMIC
Further to the recent Head Office Circular, Reference Number NP/125/21 I am writing to ask you to take part in a minute silence for Workers’ Memorial Day on Wednesday 28th April, at midday - please take part where it is safe to do so and work commitments allow.
At the request of the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group, at midday on 28th April, TUC Deputy General Secretary, Paul Nowak will lead a small delegation of senior trade unionists in a minute silence at the National Covid Memorial Wall. This will be live streamed on the TUCs Facebook page.
Every year on April 28th, all around the world the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD).
On this day we remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. We renew our efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work.
Trade unionists and senior politicians across the country will be taking part in events to mark the day. More information on such events and resources for IWMD can be found at the TUC website www.tuc.org.uk/wmd.
You can honour those you have lost here https://www.tuc.org.uk/workers-memorial-wall
Also, on Wednesday 28th April, at 2pm, join the TUC for a Workers' Memorial Day online meeting, to hear from trade union voices from around the world, who are fighting for the health and safety of working people and remembering those who lost their lives to work. Speakers include Sharan Burrows, General Secretary of the ITUC, Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, Louise Adamson, Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) Campaign, Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and Apsana Begum MP, Labour MP for Poplar & Limehouse. Register here https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uEKzShAsR3SIcNowyzTwEQ
Never has IWMD been more important. Over the last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed an occupational health crisis in workplaces worldwide. Workers have been routinely denied even basic health and safety protections, consultation with safety reps and safety committees on ‘Covid-safe’ policies and practices in many industries has been non-existent, enforcement of H&S legislation has mostly been a disgrace. These same problems existed before the pandemic and resulted in the death of millions of workers worldwide. The pandemic demonstrates why health and safety must be a right for everyone who works.
We could not have a starker reminder of the important role of trade union health and safety reps in saving and protecting workers’ lives, than the Covid-19 pandemic.
Never before has the slogan for Workers Memorial Day been more appropriate:
Remember the dead – but fight like hell for the living.
I will be emailing all members these details.