April 28, 2020
28, Day of Mourning
for the Dead --
Fight for the Living!
Today, April 28, is the National Day of Mourning
commemorate workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness
due to workplace-related hazards and conditions. In Canada, each year
more than 900 workers are killed and over 250,000 claims are filed for
lost time injuries/diseases, the Association of Workers' Compensation
Boards of Canada reports. This year, under the conditions of the
pandemic, we also express our deepest sympathies to the families of
those essential workers who have lost their lives while performing
their duties without adequate protections, thanks to governments that
have given up any pretense of serving the public good.
All accidents can be prevented by making sure the workers are put in
charge of the conditions and safety measures they require at work.
Furthermore, the Workers' Compensation systems in every province and
Quebec must be made to fulfill their original mandate to properly
compensate injured workers and their families.
While this year workers cannot gather in person to mourn for the dead,
unions are calling on everyone to show our solidarity with frontline
workers and remember fallen workers by lighting a candle in our homes
and posting a photo to social media with the hashtag
#WorkersDayofMourning and #StopthePandemicAtWork.
Workers have the right to participate in decisions that affect
their health and safety. They have the right to refuse work that could
endanger their health and safety or that of others. Any attempt to
intimidate or criminalize workers for exercising this right should be
dealt with severely as should the wilful neglect of workers' health and
safety by governments and
employers that is taking place as
a result of the anti-social offensive in fields such as health care and
On this occasion, we are providing readers with photos of the monuments
the country dedicated to the memory of workers who lost their lives on
the job, to reflect on as they remember them and pay their respects.
L to R: Escuminac, New Brunswick Fishermen's Monument; Lunenburg, Nova
Scotia monument to workers lost at sea.
L to R: Bathurst, New Brunswick monument to
forestry, mining and smelting workers; New Waterford, Nova Scotia
monument to Bill Davis, shot during a protest by striking miners; New
Brunswick coal miners' memorial.
L to R: St. John, New Brunswick Day of Mourning monument; Pictou, Nova
Scotia monument to those killed in the Westray mine disaster.
Memorial in Kahnawà:ke to workers who
died in the 1907 collapse of the Quebec Bridge.
Monument in Buckingham, Quebec to forestry
workers shot in fight to unionize Maclaren mills.
L to R: monument in Valleyfield, Quebec
to Irish workers killed striking for better working conditions during
construction of Beauharnois Canal; Heron Road workers memorial bridge
in Ottawa honours workers who died when the bridge collapsed; Ottawa
monument to workers who died constructing the Rideau Canal.
to R: Sudbury Miners Memorial; detail from Sudbury memorial; Sudbury
mural dedicated to workers killed in 1929 Falconbridge disaster.
L to R: Kirkland Lake, Ontario miners' monument;
Blind River, Ontario loggers' memorial; Port Elgin, Ontario
Elliot Lake, Ontario miners'
L to R:
Toronto memorial to workers killed in Hoggs Hollow disaster; Toronto
memorial plaque to nurses who died on the job during the 2003 SARS
L to R: Monument to Chinese railway workers in
Toronto; Memorial quilt for young workers killed on the job; Italian
workers' memorial Woodbridge, Ontario.
L to R: Hamilton April 28 Day of Mourning
monument; Windsor Day of
Mourning monument; Welland Canal Workers' Memorial.
L to R: gravestone of one the workers shot to death during the 1919
Winnipeg General Strike; Edmonton Day of Mourning workers' memorial;
Calgary railway workers' memorial.
L to R: Gravestones of coalminers in Estevan, Saskatchewan killed
defending workers' right to organize; Mine worker organizer and war
resister, Ginger Goodwin's grave in Cumberland, BC; Vancouver memorial
to nineteen ironworkers killed in 1958 when a section of the Second
Narrows bridge collapsed during construction.
L to R: Net and Needle fishermen's memorial in
Steveston, BC; Lake Cowichan, BC forestry workers' memorial park;
monument in Ladysmith, BC to Joseph Mairs, who died during the fight to
organize Vancouver Island coal mines.
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