April 28 is the National Day of Mourning, dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy. The reasons for this day are certainly in the forefront with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on front-line and essential workers.
In 1991, eight years after the Day of Remembrance was launched by the Canadian Labour Congress, Parliament passed the Workers Mourning Day Act making April 28 an official Day of Mourning. Today the Day of Mourning has since spread to more than 100 countries and is recognized as Workers’ Memorial Day, and as International Workers’ Memorial Day by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
2018 Ontario Stats – Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada
Number of Lost Time Claims: 141,917
Number of Accepted Lost Time Claims: 89,734
Number of Fatalities: 334
We need to reflect on more than just these numbers. With each worker tragedy there are loved ones, family members, friends and co-workers who are directly affected, their lives also forever changed.
The National Day of Mourning is not only a day to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy, but also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths.
OPSEU Disability Rights Caucus