The purpose behind Workers' Memorial 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.
Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.
This year the theme is 'Protecting workers around the world through strong regulation, enforcement and union rights' The TUC believes that we should use the day to highlight the need for strong regulation an national, european and global level. We need to stop companies in the UK from benefitting from the lack of health and safety standards that lead to disasters such as the Bangladesh factory collapse that killed over 1,100 workers. We also need a strong strategy on health and safety from the European Commission which will raise standards throughout Europe, while in the UK we need an end to the cuts in enforcement and regulation and instead action to tackle the huge number of occupational diseases and injuries.
See our press release: Government cuts in vital health and safety red tape threaten lives at work
Below is a list of some of the events that are happening up and down the country. Some of these events will also feature a minute's silence at noon, or a suitable time. All are on 28th April unless indicated otherwise.
What you can do:
- Find out what is happening in your area on 28 April. This website will list all the local activities we know about, but you can also ask your union branch or trades council;
- If nothing is happening then get together with some of your workmates or others in the area where you work and organise something;
- The event takes place shortly before the European Elections. Ask your candidate for their views on the need for a strong health and safety strategy from Europe.
- If you are working on 28 April then organise a minute's silence in your workplace;
- Ask your local council, or any other public body to fly official flags at half-mast on the day. Remember that the day is officially recognised by the government;
- Arrange an event such as planting a memorial tree in a public place, putting up a plaque, dedicating a sculpture, a piece of art, or a bench, to remember workers who have been killed at the workplace or in the community;
- If you are planning any events for the day of action to defend health and safety or you want to raise awareness about Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April, then it is important you consider how you can best use local media both before and on the Day.
- Ask local religious centres to include Workers' Memorial Day in their worship on the day;
- Distribute purple 'forget-me-not' ribbons, the symbol of Workers Memorial Day;
- Let people know about anything that happened in your area on the day. use hashtag #IWMD14
If you are organising an event for Workers Memorial Day and would like it displayed on these pages, then please email through the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out what's happening near you by following the links below. We will update this page as and when we hear about new events so please check back to keep an eye on what's happening on WMD 2014! Unless another date is given, all events are on 28th April.
- National events
- London, South and Eastern
- Northern Ireland
- North West
- South West
- Yorkshire & Humber
At the CWU National Annual Conference in Bournemouth a minutes silence will be observed. A special CWU - WMD pamphlet will be distributed at the Conference. 1000 delegates, observers and visitors will wear purple forget-me-not ribbons on the day and will hear a special address by CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes.
Waltham Forest (London) A ceremony is to be held at Walthamstow town hall site (Forest Road E17) between 13:00 and 14:00 The event is organised by Unison, Unite, GMB, NUT and the local Trades Council. All local people and TU's welcome, purple ribbons will be sold on the day to raise funds for local health and safety campaigning.
London Demonstration outside the Qatar Embassy in protest over the slaughter of workers on building sites in Qatar. Assemble: 8.30am – 9.00am at 1 Audley Street, W1K 1NB. Hand in letter of protest: 9.15am
London Memorial rally at Building Worker statue, Tower Hill EC3.10.30am. Black balloons will be released representing workers who’ve been killed. Trade union and safety activist speakers. Wreaths will be laid in remembrance to all those who have lost their lives. A lone piper will play a lament.
Harlow Saturday 26 April from 11:00am, handing out health & safety leaflets and ribbons at the Obelisk in Broad Walk, Harlow CM20 1HX followed by a March to St. Pauls Church hall in Playhouse Square for a rememberance service. A wreath will be carried by UCATT UF044 branch secretary Allan Jolley, a participant in the 1972 National Building strike and a blacklisted bricklayer.
London Joint union meeting on asbestos to remember those killed in UK workplaces. Presentations, networking and refreshments. 17:30-19:30 at Unison Centre, 130 Euston Road, London, NW1 2AY
Southampton Meet at 12.30 at the Unison Bench (near the fountain) in Andrews Park. Southampton (close to Jurys Inn) There will be a speaker from the Southampton Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Society and local speakers
Milton Keynes. Assemble at 11.30 am on Sunday 27 April at the MK Rose in Campbell Park, Central Milton Keynes. The laying of wreaths will be at 12.00.
London Katy Clark MP is hosting an event in Parliament to mark the day. It will take place from 19:00-20:00 in Committee Room 9, and the panel will include Gail Cartmail, Assistant General Secretary, Unite and Hilda Palmer of the Hazards Campaign.
Wolverhampton 12.30pm at Cenotaph, St Peters, Wolverhampton WV1 1TS. A range of trade union and other speakers followed by a wreath laying ceremony.
Leicester. There will be a Health & Safety stall from 11am, with the main event starting at 12 noon in the Town Hall Square with a minutes silence, roll call of those killed at work and the laying of wreaths to remember the dead. Followed by short speeches from Safety activists and Reps.
Birmingham. Assemble at 12.30pm in St Philips Cathedral Grounds Colmore Row B3 2QB
Solihull. There will be a commemorative event at 12.30pm Brueton Gardens B91 3DL (opp Barley Mow Pub)
Derby There will be a remembrance service in Derby Cathedral 1030-1130.
Hartlepool. The trades council is holding an event at 12:30 in Christ Church, Church Square. Speakers include, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary, Community, Heather Wakefield, UNISON, Trevor Burden, bereaved family member (Father of Jason Burden), Stephen Hughes MEP and Ian Wright MP.
Hartlepool . A Health & Safety Seminar at Hartlepool College of Further Education to run between 9.00am to 12noon (buffet breakfast provided) and a Memorial Service for Students (all students/staff invited) will be held at 11.00, Hartlepool College of Further Education. Following the conclusion of the service a wreath will be laid at the ‘Tree of Remembrance’
Ashington. 26th April. meet at the Elephant, North Seaton at 11:00 for coffee and biscuits and speakers from unions. Followed by a service at North Seaton cemerary at 12:30 led by Ronnie Campbell MP and Ian Lavery MP with a laying of wreaths, a memorial plaque and the planting of a memorial tree.
Gateshead The Trades Council will be holding at event on the day. Assemble at Saltwell Park at 13:00, with a service and speakers at 13:30 in attendance will be Rev Canon Lyn Jamieson (Industrial Chaplain), Dave Anderson MP , Ian Mearns MP and the Mayor of Gateshead.
Crook, County Durham. Remembrance service at St Thomas' Church. Assemble 6.30pm Bus Turning point, Stanley Crook, near Crook or 7pm at St Thomas Church. Supporters are asked to join a memorial parade led by a lone piper and trade union / pit banners, starting at the bus turning point in Stanley Crook, followed by a service at St Thomas Church. Speakers include Professor Huw Beynon and Linda Whelan from FACK.
Manchester. There will be a rally at 11.30 at Albert Square. Speakers: Trade Unionists, Teresa Griffin MEP candidate, Families Against Corporate Killers, GM Asbestos Victims Support Group, young workers. Minutes silence, laying of wreaths. Short play: Demented deregulatory daleks defeated by collective action! Shout out for safety: Then a walk to People’s History Museum for Meeting at 12.45 ‘Standing up for Health and Safety H&S in UK and EU’ Speakers include regional TUC secretary Lynn Collins and Teresa Griffin. There is also an Exhibition at the People’s History Museum 17.4.14: ‘2young2die@work
Liverpool Joint Trade Unions event on at South Piazza of Georges Dock Building- corner of Mann Island and the Strand—pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DD , at 13:00.
Liverpool Event at UCATT’s Memorial in Hunter Street, Liverpool at 12 noon
Preston WMD Committee event Saturday 26th April gather at 11.45am in Flag Market, minutes silence at 12 noon, service and speakers, march to Lune street monument where workers were shot during the 1842 General Strike. Gather for lunch at the Black Horse. More information from http:// www.lancashiretradeunions.org.uk
Salford, Agecroft Colliery Dedication of the Agecroft Colliery Memorial Garden at 12 noon on Saturday 26th April at the Agecroft Memorial Stone, Agecroft Road M27, Salford. North Ashton Prize Band, speakers, planting of a rose bush and blessing the garden. Followed by Agecroft Colliery reunion at the Swinton Royal British Legion.
Blackburn Blackburn and District Trades Union Council event. Assemble 12.30 at WMD Tree at Northgate 2 mins silence and laying of wreaths.
Bolton Sunday 27th April, 11.30am Rally on Bolton Town Hall Square followed by a minutes silence at 12.
Bolton Leafleting. Meet Victoria Square at 11.30am for leaflet and ribbon distributions. Organised by Bolton Unison
Chorley Chorley Trades Council event on Friday 25th of April, service & speakers, meet at Park Gates, Astley Park, Chorley 17.45, bring flags and banners.
Flags will be lowered at Scottish Government buildings, the National Gallery of Scotland and most Council headquarters on the day. The Church of Scotland is encouraging ministers to use IWMD as a focus for their sermons on the 27th April.
Aberdeen Memorial event at10.30am, Persley Walled Garden, Bridge of Don
Dundee Meet at noon at the Memorial Tree, adjacent to Discovery Point, Riverside Drive, Dundee
Edinburgh Ceremony starting at 12:30 at IWMD Tree and memorial, West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh.
Glasgow Meet at the People's Palace/Winter Gardens, 12 noon.
Greenock Procession from Inverclyde Council Municipal Buildings; Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony Clyde Sq
Inverness There will be a ceremony at the Town House, Inverness. Assemble, 12.30 for 12.45.
Kilmarnock Meet at 11.00am at the Workers Memorial Tree in Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock.
Midlothian there will be a commemoration at12.30pm IMWD Memorial, George V Park Bonnyrigg. Guest speakers
Coatbridge Ceremony at 12 noon, Sumerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge, ML5 1QD
Hamilton Assemble at 11.30am, South Lanarkshire HQ, Almada Street, Hamilton, ML3 0AA
Bathgate West Lothian Trades Council will be organising a ceremony in Bathgate Sports Park, Torphichen Road, Bathgate starting at 12.30pm. Speakers will include civil leaders, trade unionists and local MSP and MEP. There will be a lament piper.
Penzance. There will be a event at 12.00 at the Memorial Tree in Penlee Gardens (top gate opposite the tennis courts). Speakers to include: Rev Julyan Drew and local Council representatives. Minutes silence, speeches, laying of wreath in remembrance.
Plymouth 12 noon, Peace Garden, the Hoe. Please bring your trade union banners.
Immingham 10:00, at the Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Pelham Road Immingham. Service Conducted By Rev Mary.J.Vickers Industrial and Urban Chaplian.
Grimsby 13:00, at the Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Nunn’s Corner Grimsby. Service to be conducted By Rev Mary.J.Vickers Industrial and Urban Chaplian.
Cleethorpes 15:00, at the Workers Memorial in the Pier Gardens Alexandra Road Cleethorpes. Service Conducted By Rev Paul Hunter.
Barnsley. There will be a commemoration at 12:30 on Saturday 26th April 2014 at the Cenotaph outside Barnsley town hall.
Barnsley. Northern College staff and students will walk around the gardens at 12.30. Everyone is being encouraging to wear purple to work on the day.
Sheffield. There will be a ceremony at 12.30 P.M at the Workers` Memorial Tree which is situated in front of the Sheffield Town Hall. The Lord Mayer of Sheffield, has been invited to open the Ceremony and a number of trade unionists and citizens have been invited to speak. Unions and others are invited to place wreaths and flowers around the base of the Workers` Memorial Tree. TU banners welcome.
Dewsbury. Saturday 26 April . Laying of the wreath and a minute’s silence at 11:00 at Long Causeway, Dewsbury WF12 0RF, followed by refreshments at Dewsbury Social Club, 67 Bradford Road, WF13 2EG with guest speakers.
Huddersfield. Laying of the wreath and a minute’s silence with a guest speaker at the Town Hall steps, HD1 2TA at 12:00
Scarborough There will be a dedication service, with the Mayor of Scarborough, at 10:00am in the Town Hall Gardens, YO11 2HG. A tree will be planted in the grounds and a plaque in the town hall. After the ceremony, refreshments will be served in the Civic Parlour, inside the Town Hall.
Bradford. Rally at the Workers Memorial Plaque, at the back of Bradford City Hall 12 noon. There will be a minutes silence, speakers on the theme ‘We love red tape better than bloody bandages’ as the theme this year is - law and enforcement protects all workers but especially young workers. Also there will be a short film showing of ‘Who Pays the Price? The Human Cost of Electronics’ shown along with refreshments at the Fabric Gallery, 33a Broadway, 13:00.
Cardiff. Wales TUC Workers Memorial Day starting 11:15 in 1 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9SD. Refreshments will be served before the opening speech by Carwyn Jones the First Minister of Wales at 11:50, a wreath laying ceremony will take place at 11:55 followed by a minutes silence at 12:00. There will be further refreshments provided together with Welsh cakes.
Issued: 8 February, 2013