Day of Mourning Commemorates Workers Killed At Work

On Wednesday, April 28, Alberta workers will be marking the 4th International Day of Mourning in their worksites and at special ceremonies.

The Alberta Federation of Labour, in conjunction with the Edmonton and District Labour Council and the Alberta Building Trades Council, are organizing a ceremony to mark the day:

Wednesday, April 28 - 7:00 pm at City Hall

The event mixes cultural performances with speakers and a candle lighting to commemorate Day of Mourning. Strong visual images make up an important piece of the ceremony. A representative of the City will read out the official proclamation.

"Around the world, a worker is killed every 30 seconds," says Audrey Cormack, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Here in Alberta, we lose two workers every week to workplace accidents or occupational disease. And that is just the official statistics. The real numbers are likely much higher."

"Even a single death is not tolerable in this day and age," says Cormack. "We need to make the public aware of the scourge of work-related death so we can work together to wipe it out." Raising the profile of the issue is why the International Day of Mourning was created. Across Alberta, tens of thousands of workers will be marking the day at their local worksite. Many workplaces will respect a minute of silence. Others will wear black armbands, or hold a short lunch hour event, or fly flags at half-mast.

"Interest in Day of Mourning is growing," says Cormack. "More Alberta workers are participating this year than ever before." Day of Mourning actually began in Canada, first proclaimed by Parliament in 1986. It became the International Day of Mourning in 1996 and is now commemorated in over 70 countries worldwide.

"This day is as much about a commitment to safer workplaces as it is about remembering those who were killed. We want this day to remind everyone of the need for safe workplaces." Cormack concludes.

For further information contact:

Audrey Cormack, President         @     499-6530 (cell)
Jason Foster, Executive Director  @    483-3021 (work)

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