The National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness on the job. This annual event was initiated by the labour movement 35 years ago to increase awareness of on-the-job injuries and fatal workplace accidents. This day of remembrance was officially recognized by the federal government in 1991, six years after it was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) in 1985.
While the National Day of Mourning is now recognized in over 100 countries, including Canada, and is observed each year, there is still a lot of work to accomplish in order to improve workers’ safety. Even though a number of Canadian legislative provisions dealing with occupational health and safety are recognized internationally, and that in 2017 the Canadian government had provided extra resources to ensure they are applied, there is still much work to be done.
At Canada Post, the statistics speak for themselves. Based on the available data, the Corporation still holds the dubious record of having the highest rate of disabling injuries among federal sector employers, a rate more than double that of the employer with the next highest rate. It is time for employers to make all efforts to work with your union to improve safety. Canada Post must ensure that our members can work in safe conditions and go home.
On Sunday, April 28, 2019, wherever we are, let us take a few minutes to remember those who lost their lives, suffered injury or became disabled on the job. We must all commit to continuing the struggle to force employers and governments to fulfill their obligation to make every workplace a safe and healthy one. We must also continue seeking stronger health and safety standards and protection, and better enforcement in our workplaces.