Day of Mourning ask to ensure workers come home safe and live healthy lives
Unions in 100 countries across the globe observe April 28th as the Day of Mourning, remembering workers killed on the job and those who died as a result of workplace diseases. The Toronto & York Region Labour Council is pledging to fight with might for the living; workers who deserve safe workplaces, healthy lives free of occupational injuries and disease. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) records that one worker dies from a workplace injury or work related disease every 15 seconds worldwide. This also means that every 15 seconds a family somewhere in this world is losing a fair chance at a better life, income and health.
Every year thousands of Canadian workers are being exposed to asbestos in their workplace. Asbestos is Canada’s leading workplace killer, yet the government of Canada continues to allow the import and use of products and materials containing asbestos.
The Toronto & York Region Labour Council calls on the government of Canada to commit to a full ban on Asbestos. Canadian lives depend on healthy workplaces and strong policies that make this law. The human cost of workplace deaths and injuries are not limited to the direct workers exposed on job sites but undermine the quality of life for working families, as such Labour Council calls on the Ontario government to effectively update our Employment Standards Act and Ontario’s Labour Law incorporating the asks from www.makeitfair.ca and www.15andfairness.org.
"No Canadian wants to work with poison! When the Canadian government refuses to ban imports and use of materials with asbestos, they are saying they don’t care about the health and lives of Canadian workers." said John Cartwright, Labour Council president. "A safe and decent job is a right for all Canadian workers. Healthy workers make for a healthy country and it all begins with making sure that workplaces are safe for all."
On April 28th, Labour Council will be observing Day of Mourning ceremonies starting at 11am at Woodbridge Arena, 5020 Highway 7, Woodbridge followed by 12noon at Larry Sefton Park, NE corner of Bay and Hagerman Streets, Toronto ending the day at 3pm at the unveiling of the Italian Fallen Workers Memorial (in honour of over 900 Italian-Canadian Workers who lost their lives in workplace tragedies in Ontario) at Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Avenue West, North York.