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We Won The Battle For A Liverpool Plaque In Commemoration Of All Those Killed By Work

IWMD 2022


The IWMD Merseyside Event Organising Committee, family members of those who have lost a loved one to an avoidable accident at work or through illness caused by work, Union Safety Reps, Trade Union members and the readers of this website: have succeeded in their fight against those in the Liverpool City Area Combined Authority who objected last minute to the installation of the plaque because the words on it are too emotive!

This despite permission having been granted prior to the plaque being commissioned from Peter Hunt Jnr of Green Meade Memorials!

Having received a letter 'instructing' event organisers NOT to installs the memorial plaque on the day already agreed, and with the funding for the manufacture and sourcing of the stone from India in order to ensure it blended in with the existing memorial to the Mersey Tunnel Workers who died during its construction; the organisers decided to launch a 38 Degrees petition and publicise it through the Unionsafety website, social media, and email invitation to sign the petition.

In the end it was widely publicised and gathered 273 signatures in the short week it was running!

The IWMD Merseyside Event Organising Committee is grateful to all who signed, supported and funded the installation of the plaque, and proud to announce that it was installed yesterday (25th April 2022) as promised at the IWMD2021 event; in it's rightful place adjacent to the existing memorial on the eastern side (The Strand-side) of the George's Dock Building.

It was this and the local media pressure and that of social media, that made those involved in objecting to the plaque, do an about-turn!

We must also mention Clara Paillard whose Tweet started the whole of the debate over just who in the LCRCA objected to the wording of the plaque that led to permision to install it being withdrawn.

In her Tweet she wrote:

""Those who put profit above workers' safety should never go unchallenged". Latest one is @MetroMayorSteve A plaque with quote by the late Tony Mulhearn was due to be added in Mersey tunnel tower in International Workers Memorial Day #IWMD but Mayor refused as words "too emotive"

There followed a response from the Metro Mayor:

"I wouldn't normally respond to such nonsense, but on a day of commemoration - when we remember the fight against lies perpetrated by others - this can not be allowed to go unchallenged. You are talking absolute rubbish. Please delete your tweet."

In response and by way of clarification, one of the members of the organising committee, Jamie McGovern asked a simple question:

"With planning permissions in place for over 2 years and contributions of over £1000 from trade unions & workers organisations, why then were the IWMD organisers instructed by LCRCA that they couldn't install the plaque as planned on April 4th 2022 ???"

In the end, there has been no further responses on Twitter, nor clarification from the LCRCA, as to the origin of the objections to the plaque by the LCRCA.

However, one Sheila Coleman on re-tweeting the original posting added her comment:

"A sign of the times and the implications of the objection to this plaque go to the heart of how we are governed. Local government reflecting national policy.

On Monday, John Flanagan from Merseyside Asbestos Victim Support Group and Chris Ingram, web editor of Unionsafety attended the installation which took some 2 hours of work to complete; and were delighted to thank those from Green Meades Memorials for their dedication to the project and for their patience over the several postponements that took place through no fault of the organisers.

The caption on the plaque reads:




Jamie McGovern, CWU Grter Mersey Amal Area Safety Rep is heavily involved alongside John Flanagan from MAVS each year in the organising of the IWMD events in Liverpool.

Absent from Monday's plaque installation due to being in Bournemouth at the CWU Annual General Conference, was very pleased to say the least when told of the successful installing:

"We believe the plaque installation and unveiling this year will be very appropriate and timely, given that the theme for International Workers’ Memorial Day this year is: Make safe and healthy work a fundamental right."

Jaimie added:

"We know that trade unions and worker organisations gather every year to repeat the annual International Workers Memorial Day pledge to ‘remember the dead and continue to fight for the living’

We believe the words on the plaque are indeed more appropriate this year than ever and reflect the thoughts of the many local organisations and trade unions who have contributed over £1000 towards the funding of the plaque.

We hope this plaque is the meeting place for many more IWMD memorial days for many, many years to come."


Source: John Flanagan, MAVS / Jamie McGovern, CWU Grter Mersey Amal ASR / Chris Ingram, Web editor

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