The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job. This annual event was initiated by the labour movement 37 years ago to increase awareness of on-the-job injuries and fatal workplace accidents. This day of remembrance was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, six years after it was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) in 1985.
Although the National Day of Mourning is now recognized in more than 100 countries, including Canada, last year underscored that there is still a lot of work to accomplish in order to improve workers’ safety.
In the past year, the way we live and work greatly changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of Canadian workers have had to cope with reduced work hours or modified schedules, or been compelled to stay at home due to childcare issues, illness, or other personal challenges stemming from government-mandated emergency measures. Yet, others have had to continue working in spite of the persistent danger this virus represents.
We had to adapt the way we work, using personal protective equipment adapted to our different activities throughout the country. Workers of various sectors such as the postal service, put their health and safety at risk on a daily basis to ensure that Canadians can get through these unprecedented times. And all the while trying their best to take care of their own well-being and mental health.
This Wednesday, April 28, 2021, it is important that, wherever we are, we take the time to remember our brothers and sisters who have endured hardships or who tragically did not survive this terrible virus. Let us also remember those who died, suffered injuries or became disabled while on duty. We must all commit to continuing the struggle to force employers and governments to fulfill their obligation to make every workplace a safe and healthy one. We must also continue seeking stronger health and safety standards and protection, and better enforcement in our workplaces.
AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!
National Union Representative – Health and Safety
|NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING – APRIL 28, 2021 CUPW SHOWS RESPECT (pdf)