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Marking International Workers’ Memorial Day

INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' Memorial Day falls on 28 April. As the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) points out: "Work is killing 3 million workers worldwide each year".

IWMD flyer

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC, says that "dying to work must end now, and health and safety must be recognised as a fundamental right for all workers."

The ITUC demands that the United Nations body the International Labour Organization adopts occupational health and safety as a fundamental right at work. "It's as important as freedom of association and the elimination of forced labour, child labour and discrimination in employment," says Sharan Burrow.

The Freelance does wonder whether the number of recorded deaths would be tragically higher if it included all those who died from covid-19 after being compelled to go to work inadequately protected. Hazards magazine observes that "the covid-19 pandemic was a workplace as well as a public health disaster. Too many workers in health and care, in education, from farm to fork in agriculture, logistics and retail, in concentrated workplaces such as light electronics and food processing, faced specific hazards because of the disease, and the failure to implement basic occupational health preventions."

Hazards points to the 110th Session of the International Labour Conference, which takes place in Geneva from 27 May to 11 June 2022, as a place to apply the pressure that the ITUC seeks.

In the UK, the Trades Union Congress is holding and supporting events, including a memorial in Barking Town Square, Clockhouse Avenue, Barking, IG11 7LU from 11am to noon.

  • The Freelance would not be surprised if there were a gathering at the National Covid Memorial Wall (@CovidMemorialUK on Twitter) - which is on the South bank of the Thames, alongside St Thomas's Hospital and opposite Parliament. But we have yet to discover details.

25 April There is indeed a gathering at the National Covid Memorial Wall (map). Organised by Doctors in Unite, it's from 1:30pm to 3pm. Please see the flyer below and the TUC event page.

Please alert us to further events.

IWMD Doctors in Unite flyer
Doctors in Unite flyer - download PDF