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 34 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, more than eight 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 to improve workers’ safety. Even though a number of Canadian legislative provisions dealing with occupational health and safety are deemed exemplary 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, we’ve mourned the loss of workers. We’ve had to go through the grief and pain associated with the death of a sister or brother. We’ve also experienced what it’s like to care for a loved one who has been injured or becomes disabled as a result of a workplace accident.
For these reasons, on April 28, let us take the time, even though it falls on a weekend, to remember those who lost their lives, suffered injuries 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.