Day of Mourning Chance to Make Workplaces Safer

Albertans need to not forget the 14 year old boy killed at a construction site, or the Subway store employee beaten to death by a robber, says Alberta Federation of Labour President Audrey Cormack. Across Alberta on Friday and Saturday, workers will be respecting a minute of silence and participating in other events to remember workers killed at work. April 28 is the 6th International Day of Mourning to commemorate those killed at work.

"We must not forget the needless death of the 14 year old boy killed at an Edmonton construction site, or the Subway store employee brutally beaten to death, or the 116 other workplace deaths in Alberta last year," says Cormack. "If we do, we will learn nothing from these tragedies."

"We need to take time to remember workers who were killed and injured. But more importantly, we need to use the Day of Mourning to strengthen our resolve to end workplace death," says AFL President Audrey Cormack. "We need to fight to make workplaces safer and make sure every worker makes it home safely at night."

Cormack points out that new statistics released by the AFL this week show that accident rates have doubled in the last decade. She attributes the increase to lax enforcement of the regulations.

"In Alberta, we are going in the wrong direction," adds Cormack. "There were 118 workers killed in the year 2000, and each and every one of them was avoidable."

"The government, the WCB, employers and workers need to all work harder to make workplaces safer. There don't need to be any more deaths."

The AFL will be hosting a candle ceremony in Edmonton on Saturday at 11:00 am at City Hall. Events will also be held in Calgary, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray and many other centres around Alberta. Flags will be at half-mast in many cities, and tens of thousands of workers will observe a minute of silence during the workday. Thousands of other workers will be marking Day of Mourning on Friday, as Saturday is not a work day at many workplaces.

"Day of Mourning is only one day, but I hope that in that one day, we find the resolve to fight for 365 days for safer workplaces," Cormack concluded.

For further information contact:

Audrey M. Cormack, President @ 780-499-6530 (cell)

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