Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
April 23, 2009

April 28 marks the 25th anniversary of Day of Mourning

The Canadian labour movement first recognized April 28 as a day of mourning in 1984, both to honour those killed and injured on the job and to advocate for improved health and safety for Canadian workers. Unfortunately for Canadians, our workplaces continue to be among the most unsafe compared with those of other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Of the 29 OECD member countries, Canada has the fifth highest rate of workplace fatalities. In 2007, Canada recorded 1,055 workplace deaths, according to the Association of Workers Compensation Boards of Canada – a shockingly high number that unfortunately understates the actual total. Many occupational diseases are not recognized by workers compensation boards and go unreported as a result.

CEIU members face a range of health risks, running from repetitive strain injuries to workload stress. As the demand for the services provided by many CEIU members increases as a result of the recession, workplace pressures build. To ensure those pressures do not lead to health and safety problems, each local union should participate actively on Workplace Health and Safety Committees. If you want to play a role on your local Committee, speak with your local executive – your participation can have a real impact.

Across the country, the Day of Mourning will be observed in large ceremonies and small. Join or organize one, and pause to remember those who have been lost or injured.

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