Eight years after the day of remembrance for workers killed and injured in the workplace was launched by the Canadian Labour Movement the National Day of Mourning, held annually on April 28, was officially recognized by Canada's federal government in 1991. The Day of Mourning has since been adopted by more than 80 countries around the world and has also been adopted by General Labour Organizations such as the CLC, the AFL-CIO and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
Ceremonies dedicated to remembering these workers take place in many locations across Canada and around the world. Kevin Smith, President of the Grey-Bruce Labour Council, very sadly notes "with approximately one-thousand workplace related deaths each year across Canada there are ample names to remember and hold solemnly in our hearts while dedicating ourselves to stopping this carnage".
In recognition of the vastness of the Grey-Bruce region the Labour Council organizes and officiates at ceremonies in three locations. In 2017, these ceremonies will take place on April 27th at Bruce Power and Owen Sound and Hanover on April 28th. For over twenty years the Labour Council has had the privilege to Chair the Bruce Power ceremony. Labour Council Vice-President, Dave Trumble, has been part of the Bruce Site Day of Mourning ceremony since its inception in 1995. According to Trumble, "having the Labour Council officiate at this ceremony is extremely important as it demonstrates that as the host of the event that Bruce Power understands the importance of this day and respects that this day of remembrance and re-dedication was initiated by the Canadian Labour Movement".
The ceremonies in Hanover and Owen Sound are organized by Labour Council executive members, Hazel Pratt-Paige, and Jeff Cronin. Both Pratt-Paige and Cronin have a long history of health and safety activism and "are encouraged by the local support for these events".
The Canadian Labour Movement and the Grey Bruce Labour Council, as a charter organization of the CLC, have been active in educating young workers about health and safety and their rights in the workplace. As part of raising this awareness the Labour Council sponsors young workers to participate in our local ceremonies. This year four young workers will be invited to participate and will be awarded $250.00 for participating.
Please take the time to attend a Day of Mourning ceremony and commit to "Fight for the Living and Mourn for the Dead". Details of the local ceremonies is available at https://greybrucelabour.wordpress.com/
source: media release, Grey Bruce Labour Council