WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY – 28th APRIL 2016
You will recall from the contents of NP/021/16 1st January 2016 Circular, that the attacks on Trade Unionists and Health & Safety reps in particular are not just confined to other parts of the globe, but are taking place right here on these islands. The TUC have issued further information and detail with regards to events for this year, please make every effort to attend and where ever possible contribute. As a reminder to the previous circular in January I will keep it enclosed in this mailing.
Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.
Workers Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day. The day is also intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”.
The TUC coordinates activities across the country, publishing a comprehensive listing of events and suggestions. If you are organising any events in your area please let me know and I’ll make sure it goes on the TUC website. See https://www.tuc.org.uk/workersmemorialday
A listing of the global activities is available from the Hazards website.
In 2016 the theme for the day is “Strong Laws – Strong Enforcement – Strong Unions”. Across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the Government have removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission are pursuing a dangerous de-regulatory strategy. However strong laws are not enough if they are not going to be enforced. That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the law. Here in the UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years, however in many other countries enforcement has always been non-existent. That is why we also need strong unions. Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the Government is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all members.