CWU Area Health, Safety & Environment Representative and a member of the IWMD Merseyside Organising Committee, Jamie McGovern gives his personal report of today's event at the Titanic (Engineers) Memorial in Liverpool:
Merseyside IWMD 2021 was an invite only event due to Covid restrictions, although slightly short on our normal numbers the people who needed to be there were there.
In 2019 when speaking at our last IWMD event, Tony Mulhern recalled his early employed days when working at a print works and being exposed to unmeasured levels of carcinogens, he also spoke about living with the consequence of drastic ill health due to irresponsible exposure to dangerous work substances. In 2019 Tony urged those in attendance to keep fighting for ‘safe work’ and continue to keep 28th April as your day to remember the victims from the world of work.
That message still goes on, we must keep the 28th April as our day to remember
Today for IWMD 2021 Joe Mulhearn spoke powerfully and candidly about his Dad living with work related industrial disease and the many challenges the trade unions currently face and how important it is that days like IWMD are remembered in our annual working calendar. He spoke on behalf of his family to say how honoured and thankful they are to finally see the plaque and to know it will soon be in its permanent place.
Tony Rimmer a retired CWU member was representing the Merseyside Pensioners Association, Unite Communities Branch 567 and the Liverpool 47. Tony started by recalling a tragic event and loss of life from back in 1970 when a young colleague had a fatal fall through a furnace house roof when trying to clear a telephone lone fault. It was a terribly painful early lesson in industrial safety.
Tony also spoke as a former councillor colleague of Tony Mulhearn also spoke of a true friend and inspiration, who he describes as having an innate ability to always ‘find the right words’! He said once the plaque is in place, he will refer to the Mersey Tunnel ventilation tower as the Tony Mulhearn tower!
#IWMD21 is especially poignant this year as it comes amid a devastating surge in global Covid-19 infections. Last week over 5.8 million new cases of Covid-19 were registered globally, the highest number to date. Many of these infections will have been caught at, or on the commute to or from, people’s workplaces or in people’s workplaces.
History of IWMD
In 1989, the AFL-CIO declared April 28 “Workers' Memorial Day” to honour the hundreds of thousands of working people killed and injured on the job every year.
April 28th is the anniversary of the date the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 went into effect, and when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed (April 28, 1971).
Previously, in 1984, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) established a day of mourning.
Up to 50,000 people die each year in the UK from work-related ill health and accidents
THOSE WHO PUT PROFIT ABOVE WORKER SAFETY SHOULD NEVER GO UNCHALLENGED