The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has for many years been to the fore in marking International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) which takes place every year on the 28th April. This is an important date worldwide for all interested in the safety, health and welfare of people at work and to remember people killed or injured at work.
The CWU is fully supportive of this International Day of Remembrance, and we have placed a plaque in our Head Office garden, dedicated to the memory of those killed, injured or made ill as a result of their work which was unveiled on Workers’ Memorial Day 2014.
ICTU along with the Government, IBEC, the Health and Safety Authority and the CIF will collectively mark Workers Memorial Day in a ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. The President of ICTU Kevin Callinan will be joined by Sharon McGuinness, CEO of the Health & Safety Authority, and Minister Damien English TD who will lay a wreath on behalf of the State to remember those workers we have so sadly lost.
In Ireland in the ten-year period between 2012 and 2021, 481 people were killed in work-related incidents and many thousands more were severely injured or made ill. In addition to these official figures, we have lost many more front-line workers to Covid-19 over the last 2 years, while 38 people were killed in accidents in 2021. The unacceptable level of these figures can be reduced through a combined and intensified effort by all concerned. By working together and promoting the practice of safety and health in workplaces throughout Ireland we will achieve a significant drop in these dreadful numbers. We all have a responsibility to make sure that happens.
The trade union movement has provided strong leadership over the past couple of years in doing everything possible to protect workers throughout this pandemic. Health and safety has never been more important for us. Workers’ Memorial Day represents an opportunity to remember those we have lost, and to celebrate the contribution of those who continue to work to make us all safer.
We are requesting all Branches to participate in this Day of Remembrance by organising a minute’s silence in offices where possible. Safety Reps can also highlight the day by carrying out workplace inspections. We would ask Branches to forward any clips or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org where we will use them as part of our Social Media Campaign on the day. Branches can also share photos on social media and if so we are requesting they use the hashtag #WorkersMemorialDay and #IWMD22 on any posts and tag relevant organisations.
As part of our social media campaign we will also be sending our own Health and Safety Messages via our Social media platforms.