Stuart Baker UCATT, Warinder Juss, Thompsons solicitors (GMB) and Rev Bill Mash BCUIM (UNITE)
Nick Kelleher WB&DTUC (UNISON) also spoke on the TUC's Dying to Work Campaign
Thursday 28th April 2016 12.30pm at the Workers' Memorial Day Tree, Cenotaph, St Peters Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1TS
More than 60 people were in attendance and wreaths were laid by WB&DTUC, UCATT West Midlands, UCATT Wolverhampton, UNISON Wolverhampton General, UNISON University, Mayor & Mayoress of Wolverhampton and Thompsons Solicitors
Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living
The purpose behind the day has always been to "remember the dead: fight for the living" and unions are asked to focus on both areas, by considering events or memorial to remember all those killed through work but at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.
That can best be done by building trade union organisation, and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health & safety laws.
News release (for immediate publication)
Nick Kelleher, secretary Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council 07538 045376
Wolverhampton' Workers' Memorial Day (25th annual event)
Date: Thursday 28 April 2016
Time: 12.30pm until 1.15pm
Location: Cenotaph, St Peter's Square Wolverhampton WV1 1TS
Stuart Baker UCATT the construction union
Warinder Juss GMB & on behalf of Thompsons Solicitors
Rev. Ruth Reynolds-Tyson, Industrial Chaplain will lead a short service of remembrance
Nick Kelleher, UNISON & Secretary Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council
Wreaths expected to be laid by Mayor & Mayoress, UNISON, UNITE, CWU, FBU, PCS, UCATT and Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council
The Civic Centre flags are due to be flown at half mast in respect.
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, said:
“Workers Memorial Day is an important date in the calendar. It is a day for reflection. A day to reflect on the loss of loved ones who went to work and never returned home. And a day to reflect that thousands more who will lose their lives in 2016 as a result of simply doing their job. We will remember the dead and fight for the living.”
Heath & Safety Executive estimates 13,000 deaths each year from work-related lung disease and cancer are estimated to be attributed to past exposure, primarily to chemicals and dust at work.
Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer caused by asbestos, is causing over 5,000 deaths each year. These asbestos-related deaths now kill ten times more they they did 40 years ago and numbers of deaths are expected to keep rising until past 2020.
Heath & Safety Executive estimate 2 million people in Britain are currently unwell due to their work.
20% decrease in legal procedings in the West Midlands in the last year. Prosecutions by local authorities has decreased over the last 5 years as they have been affected by government budget cuts.
27 million days were lost due to work-related ill health or injury sustained in the last year. The cost to the West Midlands economy was over £1.1billion.
This year the theme for the day is:
- Strong laws
- Strong enforcement
- Strong unions
Nick Kelleher, Secretary Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council said:
“Across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the Government has removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission are pursuing a dangerous de-regulatory strategy.
However strong laws are not enough if they are not going to be enforced. That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the laws.
Here in the UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years; however in many other countries enforcement has always been non-existent.
That is why we also need strong unions. Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the Government’s Trade Union Bill is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.
The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to remember the dead, fight for the living and unions will be holding events across the Midlands to remember all those killed through work and to campaign to improve safety in the workplace today.”
All Midlands Workers Memorial Day events on 28 April:
There will be a commemoration in the City Centre at 12.30 at St Philip’s Cathedral grounds, Colmore Row, B3 2QB
Please assemble at 12.30 at Brueton Gardens, Solihull, B91 3EN
There will be an event in Town Hall Square. Please meet at 12.30. In additional to the usual floral tributes and purple ribbons there will be a release of helium balloon in black/purple to commemorate workers killed in the East Midlands over the past year.
There will be a memorial event at 12.30 at the Cenotaph, Lich Gates, WV1 1TS
The annual IWMD event will take place at 12 noon, Bayley Lane, Coventry, CV1 5RN
There is a commemoration at 12 noon at Coronation Gardens
There will be an event at St John the Baptist Church, High Street, Halesowen B63 4AF where a wreath will be laid and hopefully black balloons will be released to represent all the workers killed or injured do to their workplace. Meet outside the church at 11:30.
The annual Worker’s Memorial Day Service will commence at 12.30pm at St Peter’s Church, St Peter's Square, Nottingham NG1 2NW
Meet at 12 noon, by St Matthew’s at the Memorial Stone & tree, Market WS1 3DG.
A workers memorial service will be held at- St Peter’s church, Derby City centre (opposite BHS) at 10:30 until 11:30.
Congregate at 12 noon at 44 Patchwork Row, Shirebrook NG20 8AL and then march to the Market Square to mark Workers Memorial Day. Banners are welcome.
Meet at 11:30 for a 12:00 service at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, DE13 7AR (by the memorial tree and plaque) followed by a social event at Burton Caribbean Association, Uxbridge Street from 13:00
Wolverhampton Workers' Memorial day 2016 event listings:
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