Grey Bruce Labour Council-For Immediate Release
Day of Mourning-April 25th, 2021
Locked down again, yet there is an absolute need to observe the annual Day of Mourning for workers killed, injured and made ill in their places of work and because of their workplaces this April 28th. “There is a difference between workers killed, injured and made ill in their workplaces and because of their workplaces,” says Grey Bruce Labour Council Secretary, Amy Stephen. “Before the vast number of COVID-19 tragedies in workplaces, it was not uncommon to see annual Ontario workplace deaths quoted between fifty and one hundred. This is only part of the story and often equates to situations such as falls from heights with immediate and tragic outcomes. Not told in this scandalously low number are the hundreds of deaths each year as a result of disease associated with exposure to chemicals and carcinogens in the workplace. Now, add the scores of deaths connected to COVID-19, and stopping to observe and remember those lost to workplace carnage and death in Ontario and around the world is absolutely required.”
“For decades the Grey Bruce Labour Council, with our affiliates, community and corporate partners have ensured that April 28th is observed across our two-county region. If it were not for the Canadian Labour Movement in CUPE and the Canadian Labour Congress pushing the need for this day over 30 years ago, along with organizations like labour councils and their affiliates and allies, it is most unlikely that any day or time would have been set aside to observe and remember our colleagues, sisters, brothers, friends, family and loved ones lost to the daily toll of working for a living,” says Grey Bruce Labour Council President, Kevin Smith.
“The global pandemic has not stopped falls, electrocutions, burns, illness like occupational cancer, workplace violence and needless exposure to hazardous chemicals,” notes Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Grey, Chris Stephen.
Grey Bruce Labour Council VP for Bruce, Dave Trumble, says that, “workplace horror stories we have come to know before COVID-19 are reason enough to stop and commit to what every Day of Mourning demands of us. To Fight for the Living and Mourn for the Dead! The catastrophic numbers as a result of COVID-19 in workplaces, in addition to all that has been recounted, means that we must stop this year and every year going forward to make sure that the call to duty, Fight for the Living, is never far from our thoughts and that there will never be a step back when it comes to health and safety.”
Anna Morrison, Grey Bruce Labour Council Sergeant at Arms, recounts, “that our labour council is profoundly fortunate to have at the table educators, education support workers, healthcare workers, public service such as utility and corrections workers along with private and public sector workers from both provincial and federal jurisdictions. In this powerhouse cross section of workers, the Grey Bruce Labour Council continues to make sure that the annual Day of Mourning in 2021 will be observed and will be observed for all time as we go forward and hopefully past the global pandemic one day. There will be a time when there will be no memory of a time when we did not stop to Fight for the Living and to Mourn for the Dead.”
Chris Stephen asks, “that no matter where you are and no matter how limited the ability because of our lockdown, that each of us takes a moment to observe and remember and to look for virtual observances such as those that will be made available by the labour council and labour in general.”