April 28th is a Day of Mourning for thousands of Canadian workers who are killed or injured on the job each year, or who die from work-related diseases. This day provides an opportunity for the labour movement to remember these workers in public events.
But Day of Mourning is also a time to insist that all levels of government must do more to enforce existing health and safety laws and vigorously prosecute violations when a worker is killed or seriously injured.
Members can show their support at a ceremony at the following locations:
Bathurst: Thursday, April 28th at 12:00 pm
Day of Mourning Monument near Sacred Heart Cathedral, Douglas Avenue
For more information, contact: John Gagnon at 506-545-0651
Fredericton: Thursday, April 28th at 12:00 pm
Fredericton Fallen Firefighters Monument, south bank of Saint John River
For more information, contact: Alex Bailey at 506-999-7206
Miramichi: Thursday, April 28th at 6 pm
March from City Hall to the monument behind the Kin Center, 100 Newcastle Blvd.
For more information, contact: Sandra Colford at 506-424-8178
Moncton: Thursday, April 28th at 12:00 pm
Cenotaph in Bore (Riverfront) Park
For more information, contact: Eric Albert at 506-381-6918
Saint John: Tuesday, April 28th at 12:00 pm
Day of Mourning Monument, Labour Exhibit Center at Rockwood Park
For more information, contact: George Vair at 506-672-1412
Unifor Statement – National Day of Mourning
April 28, 2016
On Thursday April 28, we mark the National Day of Mourning as we stop to remember all those lost to workplace injury or illness and honour the memory of our seven fallen Unifor brothers who died on the job since the last Day of Mourning in 2015.
Willie Craig, Local 1309, Sussex, New Brunswick, February 29, 2016
Richard Pigeau, Local 598, Sudbury, Ontario, October 20, 2015
Ronnie Warren, Local 5080, Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, September 23, 2015
Sarvandas “Sarva” Kanagaratham, Local 112, Woodbridge, Ontario, September 2, 2015
Larry Loveman, FFAW, Placentia By, Newfoundland, June 16, 2015
David Wareham, FFAW, Placentia By, Newfoundland, June 16, 2015
Kenneith Hickey, FFAW, Placentia By, Newfoundland, June 16, 2015
In 2014, the last year statistics were released from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, 919 workplace deaths were recorded in Canada, up from 902 the previous year. This represents more than 2.5 deaths every single day.
Parents, sons and daughters, siblings, dear friends and colleagues, their numbers tell the story.
In the 20 years from 1995 to 2014, 18,039 people lost their lives due to work-related causes (an average of 918 deaths per year).
It has been 25 years since Canada officially recognized the National day of Mourning. Sadly, the need for this day is just as great now as it was a quarter century ago. As we look back to remember we also look forward as the work to prevent deaths, injuries and illness continues.
This year, Canadian unions are calling for a comprehensive national ban on asbestos. Asbestos is the number one cause of occupational death in Canada. Exposure to asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma, with exposure claiming the lives of more than 2,000 Canadians each year. Death from mesothelioma alone increased 60 per cent between 2000 and 2012.
Some progress has been made – as of April 1 construction materials that contain asbestos were banned by Public Services and Procurement Canada for use in government projects. But overall import of items that contain asbestos, such as brake pads and cement pipes, are on the rise.
We urgently need the federal government to completely outlaw the use, exportation and import of this known killer.
On April 28, pay tribute to our fallen workers by participating in local Day of Mourning commemorations. On April 28 remind your MP that safe work is a right, not a privilege, and call on all politicians to implement a comprehensive ban on asbestos so we can all breathe easier.
Day of Mourning – NBFL calls on provincial government to enforce legistation to protect workers
April 25, 2016
Every year on April 28, the National Day of Mourning, people come together to remember the workers who lost their lives or were injured while working. Day of Mourning ceremonies are taking place in: Bathurst, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton and Saint John.
“Today, not only do we remember those who have fallen and support their families, but we also come together to show our dedication towards improving health and safety provisions and their enforcement,” says Chuck Rouse, the Vice-President responsible for the New Brunswick Federation of Labour’s Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Committee. “Every New Brunswicker deserves to come home at the end of their work day healthy and safe.”
In 2015, over 9,500 New Brunswickers were injured on the job while 14 people lost their lives as a result of a workplace injury or disease.
“We support the United Steelworkers Union’s campaign to stop the killing and enforce the law. Hence on this Day of Mourning, we are calling on the New Brunswick Attorney General to take the necessary steps to enforce the Westray Act,” says Patrick Colford, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.
Following the Westray coal mine explosion that killed 26 miners on May 9, 1992, in Nova Scotia, the United Steelworkers Union spearheaded a decade-long campaign to demand “No More Westrays.” The Westray Act amended the Criminal Code to hold corporations and their directors criminally accountabale for workplace deaths and injuries. The amendments were adopted unanimously by the House of Commons and became law in 2004. This law is currently not being enforced.
April 28th was first established in Canada as the National Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured or disabled on the job. It was recognized as such by the Government of Canada in the year 2000, at the urging of the Canadian Labour Congress. April 28th commemorates the date that the first comprehensive worers’ compensation legislation was adopted in Canada. It was adopted on April 28, 1914 by the province of Ontario. April 28th is now recognized in countries throughout the world as a day to remember, reflect and renew efforts to keep workers safe and healthy.
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For information, please contact:
NBFL VP, Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Committee
506) 850-8510 (cell)
(506) 857-2125 (work)
(506) 381-8969 (cell)