News Release from Edinburgh Trade Union Council and Scottish Hazards (23 April 2021)
Edinburgh Trade Union Council and Scottish Hazards are organising activities to mark this year’s International Workers Memorial Day.
We are calling on people to observe a minutes silence at 11am at your workplace whether at home or elsewhere.
Wreaths and flowers will be laid at the Memorial Tree and Plaque in West Princes Street Gardens. Fifteen Edinburgh trade union organisations will lay wreaths including NUJ, UNISON, FBU,UCU, UNITE and EIS branches between 12 and 2pm.
Floral tributes will also be laid by the Protest in Harmony choir, Migrant Pride and Scottish Hazards. We are pleased that the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Council will lay a wreath at 12.30pm.
Individuals can lay tributes in honour of loved ones who passed away during the COVID pandemic.
To mark the day the City of Edinburgh Council will lower its flags to half mast. Historic Environment Scotland will light up Edinburgh Castle in purple between dusk and midnight.
Lord Provost Frank Ross said:
“It will be my honour to lay a wreath on behalf of the people of Edinburgh and the Council to remember colleagues, friends, and relatives who have died, been injured or made ill by their work.
“Each year we remember the sacrifices of workers across the world and this year has special significance because of the ongoing pandemic. Key workers continue to work on the frontlines caring for those suffering from coronavirus or delivering vital public services putting their own lives at risk. It is vital that we all take a moment to think about those who are no longer with us and honour their memory.
“The Council has a long-standing commitment to marking International Workers’ Memorial Day, we recognise the importance of safe and healthy working conditions and we are fully committed to working towards this for our own employees and for all workers in the city.”
Kathy Jenkins, Secretary of Scottish Hazards said: “Workers Memorial Day is a day for all of us to remember those who have died through work and to pledge again our commitment to fight for improved health and safety for all workers. This is a truly international day which will be commemorated in well over 100 countries, many marking this day despite oppression and war. Countries, from Argentina and Albania through Iraq and indonesia, Myanmar, Palestine and the Phillipines to Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
The international theme for this year is “ Health and Safety is a fundamental human right” and our related Scottish theme “Fighting for the right to health and safety for all Scottish workers, today and everyday”
For workers and communities in Scotland and around the world, this year’s workers’ memorial day is especially poignant, as we remember all of those who have died from Covid-19 and, in particular the many thousands who contracted the virus through work – often in the service of others.”
For further information contact Des Loughney, Secretary of Edinburgh Trade Union Council at this email address or 07734012536.