April 28 is recognized as the National Day of Mourning in Canada. The Day of Mourning was created by CUPE members more than 40 years ago to remember those who lost their lives on the job and to inspire other workers to fight to prevent further tragedies.
This day is a time to remember and honour those who have lost their lives, been injured or suffered illness as a result of their work. It is also an opportunity to renew our commitment to improving workplace health and safety.
On this day, we ask all members to take a moment to reflect and remember those who have been affected by workplace injuries and illness.
As trade unionists, it is our responsibility to continue this fight. We must ensure that all workers know about the four workers’ rights enshrined in every health and safety law in the country:
- The right to refuse work you believe is unsafe until an investigation can be carried out;
- The right to participate in deciding what is safe in the workplace and to report hazards;
- The right to information on any hazard in the workplace that may cause harm, and how to prevent that harm;
- The right to be free from reprisal for carrying out any of the other rights or any other requirement of health and safety law.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of workplace safety and health, and the need for stronger protections for all workers. Let us take a moment to remember those who have been affected by workplace injuries and illness, and renew our commitment to advocating for better working conditions and safer workplaces for all workers.
CUPE 3261 Executive