“Remember the Dead – fight like hell for the living” – Workers Memorial Day Ireland April 28th
To Congress Affiliated Unions ROI/EC
For everyone with an interest in the safety, health, and welfare of people at work, Sunday 28th April is an important date nationally and worldwide when we remember people killed or injured at work. Congress has marked Workers’ Memorial Day for many years, with trade union events being held in Dublin and Belfast. In 2015 our commemoration was given official backing in the Republic when the government called on the HSA, employers and public bodies to join with Congress in making the day a truly national event henceforth. This joint cooperation has continued every year since.
While every year we still have too many people who die in accidents at work – 37 died in 2018 in the Republic – many more are affected by occupational accidents. Some of these ultimately prove fatal while countless others suffer from both physical and psychosocial disorders arising from their work. Alongside our commemoration therefore, we also try to use the day to create awareness and to commit ourselves to create safer workplaces. This is why we use the motto based on the words of Cork-born Mary “Mother” Jones – Remember the dead; fight like hell for the living. Trade unions have been the crucial force in the past in protecting workers and raising the bar to ensure people can return home safe and well after their day’s work. There is no room for complacency and we all need to work together to achieve this objective.
Congress is asking all of its affiliated unions and trades councils to get involved in marking the day. While April 28th falls on a Sunday this year, there are still many ways in which you can contribute. Congress has made available some resources, including the logos and posters, and suggestions as to what unions might do at http://bit.ly/IWMD2019.
- We want to encourage unions to support in particular the social media campaign using the A3 poster available on the resources link. Arrange for your General Secretary or Executive Members to have their photo taken with the poster and post to Twitter with an appropriate message (suggestions include: Workers safety is everyone’s business; Organised workplaces are safer workplaces; Remember the dead; fight like hell for the living or customise your own message to highlight issues in your own sector. Ask public figures and others in organisations you have contact with to do the same and support this awareness-raising campaign using the hashtag #WorkersMemorialDay
- Publish a piece in your union journals or work newsletters; there is an article available via the link above
- Get involved by using the national Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland logo (download at link) on your website, social media presence, presentations, email signatures and displays in the weeks leading to 28 April;
- Print and display the Congress memorial poster in as many workplaces as possible
- Observing a minute of silence and reflection on 28th April if it is a workday for you
- Circulate of safety and health messages throughout workplaces and review risk assessments
- Make and wear the simple purple ribbon “forget-me-knot” which has become associated with the day
By working together and promoting the practice of health and safety in workplaces throughout Ireland we will achieve a significant drop in these dreadful numbers of deaths, injuries, and illnesses. We all have a responsibility to make sure that happens.
For further information, search “Workers’ Memorial Day” in your web browser or contact Conor Kavanagh in the Communications Office of Congress at 086 811 6607 or Frank Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We ask for and we welcome your support for this event.
Dr. Sharon McGuinness Patricia King Danny McCoy Tom Parlon
Chief Executive Officer General Secretary Chief Executive Director General