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International Workers Memorial Day

Apr 15, 2014News

April 28 marks International Workers Memorial day – the global union campaign for safer, healthier, better work.

On this day unions and workers around the world pause to not only remember those who lose their lives due to work incidents and disease – but to fight for the living. This means fighting for better regulation, increased government compliance activity, and achieving safer workplaces for all. This year, we ask all to pause at work and remember the importance of health and safety.

The ICFTU has announced the international theme for 2013 is “Unions make work safer” – acknowledging the crucial role played by trade unions, strong regulation and effective enforcement in securing safer workplaces.

History of Workers Memorial Day 

Workers Memorial Day was started by Canadian Unions in 1984. By 1996, it was an international day. Australian unions have marked the day since 1997.

Why We Have Workers Memorial Day

Globally, we remember the 2 million workers who die, the 1.2 million who are injured and the 160 million who fall ill each year from unsafe, unhealthy or unsustainable work and workplaces.

In Australia: Workers bear the cost of hazardous work. It is workers, not employers, who overwhelmingly bear the costs of workplace injuries and diseases, an official Australian report has shown. The report by Safe Work Australia revealed three quarters of the costs of workplace injuries and diseases is borne by the injured workers themselves, with just 5 per cent borne by employers.

The monument located at Reflection Park, Darling Harbour NSW, in where the International day of Mourning Ceremony is held annually.