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Merseyside Remembers And Commemorates Those Killed At Work

Trade unions and charitable organisations have organised a gathering at the Pier Head, Liverpool to mark International Workers Memorial Day for Thursday 28 April.

The event is commemorated across the world in many countries and recognised by the UK government as the official day of remembrance for those killed at work or deaths related to work.

The ceremony will take place at 11.30am tomorrow at  Georges Dock Building (GDB) The Strand, Liverpool L3 1DD ( on the dock road, bottom of James Street over the Strand towards the river).

Image: IWMD Event Poster - click to download a PDF version Itinerary

11.30am (aprox) Roger Phillips will open the day’s proceeding welcoming everyone and will briefly explain the purpose of the day.

12.00 noon. One minute silence to remember all those who have lost their lives due to work followed by foghorns sounding on the river. The GDB will be lit up in Purple, the colour of the purple ribbons that will be distributed and is the IWMD colour for the event.

12.01 Compere invites a family member of the late Tony Mulhearn to unveil the new IWMD plaque. Short speeches by  family member and Jamie McGovern, H&S Officer for the CWU  Trade Union explaining the very essence of the day and this year’s theme.

12.10-12.15 Compere invites those wishing to lay a wreath to lined up under the plaques for a photo op while the Piper plays a lament. After the photo op wreaths are laid against the wall and compere invites all into meeting room at St. Nicholas Parish Church, Bottom of Chapel Street and opposite Mercure Atlantic Tower Hotel for buffet and speakers.

12.30 Speakers.
Leslie Mahmood, on the NHS and its future. 15 minutes.
A speaker on those who have lost their lives to Covid. 15 minutes.

Every year on 28th April, all around the world the Trade Union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day.

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don't die of mystery ailments, or in tragic "accidents".

Work hurts and kills on an industrial scale!

Every year, the number of people in the UK being killed or injured by their work; could fill a Jumbo Jet!

They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn't that important a priority. 

Yet, official figures of death by work are grossly under estimated as a result of official figures which discount those who are killed driving, flying or otherwise traveling to work or in the cause of their work

Health & Safety Executive’s ‘official figures’only covers those reported to HSE and Local Authorities under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, RIDDOR.

It excludes members of the public killed in work incidents, workers killed on roads, at sea, in air and by work-suicide. The figure also excludes those dying because of bad work conditions from cancers, heart, lung and other diseases.

Using expert research, the Hazards Campaign estimates a more realistic figure for those killed in work-related incidents is 1,500 and those dying of work illnesses is 50,000 per year.

That is around 140 people dying from work per day or one person every 10 minutes in GB. The UN ILO estimates 2.78 million people worldwide die from work every year One person killed by work every 11 seconds worldwide. One person killed by toxic exposure every 30 secs.

Every year on 28th April, all around the world the Trade Union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day and commemorate those workers who have lost their lives because of the work they do and because their avoidable deaths have been caused by employers who put their profit before the health and safety of their workforce. 

But what is the history of International Worker’s Memorial Day?

Originally called Worker’s Memorial Day (WMD), Hazards Campaigner Tommy Harte brought it to the UK in the early 1990s from Canadian union CUPE, and USA groups, with two aims: to "Remember the Dead” and “Fight for the Living.

WMD was rapidly taken up by Hazards Groups, Trades Councils, adopted by the STUC, TUC and Trade Unions, and the Hazards Campaign has promoted and resourced it, helped to spread it across the UK where it is now marked by hundreds of events from Aberdeen to Penzance, and across the world.

It is now called International Workers Memorial Day, IWMD and under its banner, we:

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living

We will  come together tomorrow for an added meaning for Liverpool and indeed the whole of Merseyside.
For the first time a plaque in commemoration of ALL workers who have lost their lives, from shipbuilders, dockers, electricians, builders and excavators, from factory and machine workers to telecoms workers, postal workers and Health Care Workers especially those who lost their lives during the Covid pandemic they are all equal in our memories.

We commemorate their unnecessary deaths and in doing so, we uncover their memorial plaque bearing the words of one of our cities and regions trade unionists who worked until his death to help ensure that no employer whose neglect and callous profiteering results in the deaths of their workers, is able to hide from the enormity of what they have done.

Through this plaque to be unveiled Thursday 28th April:

Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living


Source: John Flanagan, MAVS / Chris Ingram, Unionsafety

See also: International Workers Memorial Day Archive


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