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 a 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, NISO and the CIF, will collectively mark Workers’ Memorial Day in a ceremony in the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. The General Secretary of ICTU, Owen Reidy will be joined by Mark Cullen, Interim Chief Executive and Minister Neale Richmond TD, who will lay a wreath on behalf of the state to remember those workers who have so sadly lost their lives while working. The CWU band will also play at the event.
Last year in Ireland, 27 workers were killed in work-related incidents and many more were either injured or were made ill while working. To date this year, 7 workers have been killed while working.
According to the International Labour Organisation every year 2.78 million work related deaths are recorded each year of which 2.4 million are related to occupational diseases. This not only causes immense suffering and heartaches for their families but the economic costs for enterprises are colossal. The economic burden of poor occupational health is estimated at 3.94% of global GDP.
Trade Unions working together with employers and workers can achieve a reduction in these numbers by promoting the positive impact of the practice of good health and safety. Employments benefit from this collaboration and the positive role workers and Trade Unions play in reducing accidents. The trade union leadership continues to provide strong leadership in doing everything possible to protect workers while at work. Workers’ Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember all those we have lost and to celebrate the contribution of those who continue to make us 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 #IWMD23 on any posts and tag relevant organisations including @NISOIreland and @HSA on Twitter.
As part of our social media campaign, we will also be sending our own Health and Safety messages via our Social Media platforms.
Please bring the above to the attention of all members and encourage them to get involved in the campaign.