Each year more people are killed at work than in battles. Most don’t die of mystery diseases, or in tragic “accidents.” They die because an executive decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers‚Memorial Day (WMD), commemorates those workers.
Workers Memorial Day, April 28, was placed to identify workers who died or suffered from exposures to hazards at work. It also inspires us to think of ways in which we can all help obtain the goal of safer and more healthy workplaces.
While coming together to recognize those who have lost their lives and to ask safe workplaces and suitable employment for all workers, which are the centrepieces of Workers Memorial Day, extra cares may be needed when preparing for any Workers Memorial Day event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The spread and result of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States are continuously improving and could last for an extended time. Please begin emergency plans to hold practical or nontraditional events and utilize them when organizing any event or function:
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention—Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for COVID-19
- AFL-CIO—COVID-19 Outbreak Resources
Stay tuned as we proceed to arrange and demand secure workplaces during this public health disaster. If you have a nontraditional Workers Memorial Day function idea, please share it with us. Examples of events that include safe public health methods include:
- Organize an online drive to call for more robust safety and health protections using our digital toolkit.
- Hold a virtual candlelight wake.
- Receive a phone call or webinar with elected officials in their districts.
- Plan a photo campaign on social media to memorize workers who have been killed on the job and lift the memory of their lives.
- If you are working on the leading lines during the outbreak, organize an event at your workplace to guard all workers’ right to a safe job and keep your employer answerable for keeping you safe.
- Come unitedly in person once this pandemic crisis is over. Being part of the labour movement, we have Grieve for the Dead and Fight for the Living on April 28, and every day of the year.