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Workers' Memorial Day

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don't die of mystery ailments, or in tragic "accidents". They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn't that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.

Workers' Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.

The day is also intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”.

In Salford the memorial was led by Paul Dennett, representing Salford City Council, along with Ameen Hadi (Unison) and Scott Henderson (Unite) representing all Trade Unions.

 

Paul Dennett's speech for todays Workers Memorial day

"Thank you all for meeting here today. This is a day of reflection – paying respects and mourning those who tragically lost their lives in the workplace.

Many things have moved on today from the age where children would be sent crawling under cotton-looms, picking out cotton fluff from razor sharp machines.

They faced mutilation and death every day, with no concern for their safety – no respect for their lives.

But the continued deaths of those in work remind us, day in day out, of the necessity of the Trade Union movement.

We live in a society where our bodies are still considered commodities, our worth is to be bought and sold by those who can make a profit from our labour.

It’s the Trade Union movement which demands the recognition that we are still human – that we need dignity, respect and demand safe environments in which to work.

This stone and plaque is placed here as a permanent reminder of those now gone.

Even now in 2016, approximately two million men and women across the world will not return home because of a work related accident or disease. 

This is one death every 15 seconds. Six thousand workers every day.

Please join me now in a minutes’ silence.

Remember the dead, fight for the living. "