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Merseyside IWMD Organising Committee To Contact All Donating Organisations After LCRCA Issue Instruction Against Installing Agreed IWMD Plaque!

Unionsafety previously published a report on the work being done on Merseyside to publicly highlight the commemoration to those who have been killed by their work which takes place on International Workers Memorial Day on 28th April annually.

This year, the IWMD Organising Committee were intending to fulfil their promise made at the 2020 IWDM event at Liverpool’s waterfront memorial to install a plaque to all working people whose life was cut short as a result of being killed at work with a high-quality memorial plaque to be installed on the Wall of the Mersey Tunnel Ventilation Shaft on The Strand.

Despite meticulous planning by the organisers of the annual IWMD event in Liverpool, the hours of emails, phone calls, and meetings and by those working on fund raising and the dedication of the contracted stone mason commissioned to make and install the commemorative plaque, Organisers have confirmed to unionsafety that the planned installation of the IWMD plaque has had to be curtailed following instructions received from a department of the LCRCA

It is very concerning that political figures on Merseyside are prepared to decline the erection of the plaque because of the potential sensitivities of others by describing the words on the agreed IWMD plaque as being too ‘emotive’. This plaque would have been Liverpool’s first dedicated IWMD plaque commemorating all workers who were killed by their work or because of work.

The plaque reads as follows-

“In respectful remembrance of all those killed at work, or through failure of responsibility. Remember the Dead, fight for the living. IWMD 2021

Those who put profit before worker safety, should never go unchallenged – Tony Mulhearn IWMD 2019”

But what is further dishonest, and offensive is that those responsible for the denial of this memorial venture, are denying that they have done so!

On social media today, the distress this has caused to both the families of those being commemorated, to the Mulhern family, the organising committee and trade unions supporting this initiative became evident on social media:

The finished plaque was originally put on display at a the Titanic workers memorial site when a small Covid restricted gathering was held for IWMD 2021 as reported by Unionsafety at the time of the event, where it was also announced that it would be moved to its rightful position adjacent to the existing memorial to those workers who died building the Mersey Tunnel.

As such this commemorative plaque would be the very first to be installed in over 80 years in Liverpool dedicated to International Workers Memorial Day, in commemoration to all workers who have lost their lives in the process of their work. This is more poignant and appropriate than ever when we consider the devastating loss suffered by many families who have recently lost loved ones who contracted Covid19 through their work.

It was also important to those involved in the design of the stone plaque, that the words quoted on the plaque were those of a long-standing Trade Unionist and pioneer of workplace safety on Merseyside, Tony Mulhearn spoke in 2019 when attending that year’s IWMD event which very sadly was to be his last.

Tony Mulhearn championed International Workers Memorial Day and the need for a collective and continued fight to ensure safer workplaces for all - His words rightfully should be immortalised and would and could stand proudly as a ‘mission statement’ for every trade union and workers organisation on Merseyside.

In the 24 months since the plaque was first considered, hours of work in the planning and fund raising took place with support from Trade Unionists, local political figures and the appropriate authorities who had agreed that the plaque would be installed on an agreed site adjacent to the existing memorial to the workers building the Mersey Tunnel.

This plaque was intended to be Merseyside’s first universal memorial plaque to all those killed at work and not just those from one specific industry, the aim of the design being that it would recognise arguably the single most important day in the trade union calendar The 28th April and also reflect the feelings of the people of Liverpool in commemorating the lives of their colleagues, friends, and family members whose life was taken by their work.

Tony Mulhearn was one such victim included in the appalling worldwide yearly statistics that make up the increasing numbers of those killed by their work or because of their work, or by neglect of their employers, at the 2019 event he struggled for breath as he described his work related condition of a rare occupational lung disease caused by exposure to carcinogens when working in the printing industry.

Unionsafety is proud to work closely with the IWMD committee in Merseyside and shares their view and the views of many that this memorial plaque should be installed in its rightful place and agreed planning permissions should be upheld.

If you agree with us, please take 5 minutes to sign the petition by clicking on the image below:

Image: IWMD 2022 Plaque petition

or by clicking here


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