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Workers Memorial Day 2017 - Friday 28 April 2017 "Good Health & Safety For Workers"

CWU's National Health, Safety & Environment Officer Dave Joyce writes to all CWU Branches concerning the annual Workers Memorial Day.

Traditionally a day when workers, Trade Unions and organisations come together to remember the dead, and pledge to fight for the living. In this way, the public is reminded that needless deaths do occur whilst workers are performing their everyday employment due to careless and too often uncaring employers who break Health and Safety laws and putting profit before their workers lives.

Here Dave reminds CWU Branches and the Union's hundreds of workplace safety reps (USRs) of the day and the events planned:

As Branches, Health and Safety Reps and Regional Health and Safety Forums will know, the Union has for the last four years commemorated Workers Memorial Day (WMD) at ‎ Annual Conference as WMD fell during Conference Week after the move of Conference to April. 

This year WMD occurs on the Friday of the week, a day after Conference closes. Therefore those participating and supporting WMD events around the UK will need to note this and make local arrangements to attend the many events taking place across the UK. 

Once again CWU will continue its support of this important commemorative day in the calendar and would urge CWU Branches, Reps and Regions to give their support to local and Regional WMD events.

The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to "Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living" and the TUC, the Hazards Campaign and all the nation's Unions will be focusing on both areas, by considering memorial and health and safety events to commemorate the day and remember all those killed at work or through work but at the same time ensuring that we continue to do all we can to make sure such tragedies are not repeated.

That can best be done by building trade union organisations, recruiting members, pressing employers to invoke better health and safety standards and risk controls and campaigning for stricter enforcement by the HSE and Local Authorities with higher Court penalties for those employers and bosses breaching health & safety laws.

Pic: Dave JoyceWorkers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.
In 2017 the theme for the day is "Good Health and Safety For All Workers" and will focus on inequalities in occupational health and the role Unions play in narrowing the inequalities gap. 

The TUC wants to focus on the hidden and new GIG economies, the risks faced by migrant workers and the issues of gender and class.

The TUC is compiling a list of WMD events taking place across the country and the list will be updated over the coming weeks and circulated in due course. Some of these events will also feature a minute's silence at noon, or a suitable time. Most will be on Friday 28th April and some will take place on the weekend of 29th/30th April.

What CWU Reps can do:

Find out what is happening in your area on 28 April. Check with other Unions, Local Authorities, local Trades Councils, Health and Safety Campaign Groups, Hazards Campaign, the TUC Website WMD page and a general website search for events and activities which can signpost Reps to events they may be unaware of.

Regional Health and Safety Forums may wish to organise their own event and activities on the day which can be a commemorative rally, a workplace meeting or just a small get-together and invite other Unions. Organise a minute's silence in workplaces on the day.

Ask the local Council, or any other public body, to fly official flags at half-mast on the day. 

Remember that the day is officially recognised by the UK Government. That Official recognition was given by Parliament under the Blair Labour Government.

Arrange an event such as planting a memorial tree in a public place, putting up a plaque, dedicating a sculpture, a piece of art, or a bench, to remember workers who have been killed at the workplace or in the community.

If those planning any events for the day want to raise awareness about Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April, then it is important you consider how you can best use local media both before and on the Day.

Ask local religious centres to include Workers' Memorial Day in their worship on the day;
Distribute purple 'forget-me-not' ribbons, the symbol of Workers Memorial Day;

If those organising an event for Workers Memorial Day would like it displayed on TUC WMD Webpage please email through the details to

For resources on Workers Memorial day including ribbons and car stickers please contact the Greater Manchester Hazards centre at:

Source: CWU LTB127/17

See also: Workers Memorial Day 2017 Liverpool Events Announced

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