Today, we remember the dead and fight for the living

28.04.2016

28 April is International Day to Commemorate Dead and Injured Workers. The day is celebrated around the world, and is also called International Workers’ Memorial Day, the Day of Mourning, or World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

Please observe a moment’s silence today for those killed and injured at work.

Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease. That is 6,300 deaths per day.

Every year, 2.3 million workers kiss their loved ones goodbye as they go to work, never to return.

These deaths are all preventable. No one should die at work.

The Day of Commemoration was launched by trade unions to highlight the terrible human toll that negligence and cost cutting has on workers’ lives, and to fight for safe work.

This year, our focus is on pushing countries to ratify and implement ILO Convention 176 on mine safety.

By implementing this convention, we can make mining safe. Please join the global campaign to put pressure on governments to ratify the convention and legislate for mine safety.

April 28 is a day to remember those who die at work, and a day to fight for the living.

Across the world, trade union activists parade their banners, light candles, down tools, lay wreaths, lower flags, put out their boots and hard hats, and take other solemn, symbolic actions to remember colleagues killed at work, and the devastating impact this has on family members who lose a loved one and breadwinner.

We ask you to do the same.

No one should die at work. The cause is profit-driven employer negligence, and the cure is strong unions fighting for safe working conditions, the right to refuse dangerous work, and robust health and safety legislation.

Is the past week, we have commemorated the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, when 1,130 garment workers were killed, and the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, that killed untold thousands.

We remember those killed by asbestosis, mesothelioma, workplace carcinogens, exposure to pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.

We remember those killed on dangerous construction sites and in shipbreaking yards.

We remember the terrible death toll in the mining industry, from cases of mass industrial homicide like the Soma disaster in Turkey, to the steady attrition of deaths in Pakistan's dangerous coal mines, to the Congo, Russia, South Africa and across the world.

And we resolve to do something to change it.

Ratify ILO C176.

Remember the dead. Fight for the living.