This Wednesday, 28 April, trade unionists and safety campaigners across the world will be holding events to mark International Workers' Memorial Day (IWMD).
Initiated by US trade unions in 1986, the international labour movement comes together to remember those who have been killed or injured in workplace accidents and those who have died as a result of occupational health and safety failures. This year, the theme is ‘health and safety in a fundamental right’. Given the events over the past year, no one can disagree with this and we support the call made by the TUC for an independent public enquiry and for trade union law and rights to be upheld and enforced.
Our experience also shows that strong union organisations and trade union safety reps have a pivotal role to play in the continuing fight for safer workplaces.
To mark IWMD this year, the PCS safety reps' network has organised an event which we will be livestreaming via our PCS health and safety Facebook page. If you are unable to join us via this platform, you can contact us to request a zoom invite to the event.
Join us at 6pm on Wednesday 28 April to hear from:
- Shelly Asquith, TUC health and safety officer – the origins of International Workers Memorial Day and its relevance today
- Martin Cavanagh, PCS deputy president
- Keiron Mahon, NEU rep Redbridge School – trade union victimisation in the education sector – a concern for us all
- Sarah Evans, branch chair DVLA Swansea – The fight for safer workplaces
- John Dunn, Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign – Defending the right to picket and lessons of Orgreave
- Cristina Petrella, chair PCS Tate United branch – The struggle for safer workplaces in the Culture sector
- Dave Smith, Blacklist Support group – State collusion and undercover spying – why it’s a trade union issue.
There is also an IWMD memorial wall to honour those who have lost their lives. A minute's silence is being observed at 12 noon on the day.