The National Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job is coming up on Saturday, April 28, 2018. It was launched more than thirty years ago by the Canadian Labour Congress and is now formally recognized by municipal and provincial governments across Canada, and in 1991 was formally recognized by the Government of Canada. The Canadian flag on Parliament Hill will fly at half-mast, just as it does at provincial legislatures and city halls across Canada.
Since it was established, the Day of Mourning has been recognized in over 100 countries and has been formally adopted by the AFL-CIO in the United States and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
April 28 is an opportunity for workers and employers to remember those that have lost their lives at work, honour the injured and sick, as well as publicly renew their commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace.
Workplaces across Canada are asked to participate by declaring April 28 a Day of Mourning and to strive to prevent workplace deaths, illnesses and injuries. Workers will light candles, don ribbons and observe moments of silence to mark the occasion.
Last year 196 worker deaths were reported, and 156 worker fatality claims were accepted by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
The International Union of Operating Engineers has tens of thousands of members throughout Canada. Although April 28 falls on a Saturday, a one-minute moment of silence be marked at Operating Engineers, Local #882 on Friday April 27, 2018. We are asking all our employers to pledge to the silence as a symbol of remembrance and dedication for renewed safety. Several public ceremonies in communities around B.C. will also take place on or around that day.
If you are able to take a moment to recognize and reflect on the Day of Mourning, please let us know. We would like to have the opportunity to thank and acknowledge all the workplaces that participate in the Day of Mourning and work with us to raise awareness of occupational health and safety issues.
In recent years we have seen a heartening amount of cooperation and participation with our employer partners, and I very much hope that you will join us in marking the occasion this year. We encourage you to use your voice to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives on the job and to bring awareness to workplace safety.
Please join us for a moment of silence at your place of work on or before April 28 as we continue to fight for the living and mourn for the dead, honour the injured and pledge to make B.C. a safer place to work. To learn more about Day of Mourning, we encourage you to visit dayofmourning.bc.ca where you can also order decals and posters to display at your worksite.