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.
In 2016 the theme for the day is "Strong Laws - Strong enforcement - Strong Unions" because across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the Government have removed protection form 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 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.
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. It can be a commemorative rally, a workplace meeting or just a small get-together;
- Organise a minute's silence in your workplace on the day;
- 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, 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 #IWMD16
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 [email protected]
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 Workers Memorial Day 2016! 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
CWU will hold a national commemoration on the day at their Annual Conference in Bournemouth with a minutes silence at noon followed by an address from the General Secretary - all delegates will wear purple ribbons, and a number of resources will be issued.
There will be a ceremony at the Walthamstow Town Hall, Forest Road E17 4RJ starting at 13:00 with speeches from local trade unions and safety campaigners followed by a wreath laying ceremony and a one minutes silence. All trade unions are welcome to attend and bring their branch banner. This ceremony is also open to all local people from Waltham Forest especially those that have suffered ill health, injury or lost a family member through their work activities. In addition, Waltham Forest Trades Council will be leafletting at the Bakers Arms from 8.30 – 9.30 on the day to remember Romanian worker Marian Nemit who died from injuries received whilst working on the re-fit of a shop in Leyton High Rd in April 2015.
There will be a ceremony including wreath laying at the Building Worker Statue next to the Tower of London. Keynote speakers include John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor, Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary of UCATT, Len McCluskey General Secretary of Unite, Frances O’Grady General Secretary of the TUC, and Ambet Yuson General Secretary of Building and Woodworkers International. Meet at the Building Worker Statue, next to Tower of London at 10:30.
e event will take the form of a ceremony including wreath laying at the Building Worker Statue next to the Tower of London. Keynote speakers include John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor, Brian Rye, Acting General Secretary of UCATT, Len McCluskey General Secretary of Unite, Frances O’Grady General Secretary of the TUC, Naz Shah MP and Ambet Yuson General Secretary of Building and Woodworkers International.
Thursday 28th April
The Building Worker Statue
Next to the Tower of London
Nearest tube station – Tower Hill
Assemble at Victoria Park (Edinburgh Road, opposite the Catholic Cathedral) Portsmouth Hampshire at 11:45 for a minutes silence at Noon, to be followed by speakers. Please bring banners and a friend.
Please assemble at 11.45 at the Workers Memorial Tree, Rochester Castle Gardens. Event followed by light refreshments . All welcome. If you have someone you wish to have remembered on the tree please contact [email protected]
A memorial tree is to be planted in Wellington Square in the centre of Hastings.
The Midlands region of the TUC have produced a video on Workers Memorial Day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE_Q6YDM-Pw&feature=youtu.be
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 at12.30 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
Halesowen (near Dudley)
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
Remembrance Service & Wreath Laying Ceremony in Hartlepool starting at12.30pm in Christ Church, Church Square, Hartlepool. Iain Wright MP, Chair of the BIS Select Committee, will give a ‘reading’ at the service, and there will be speakers from Trade Unions and asbestos support organisations. It will be followed by wreath-laying and the organisers will be providing individual flowers so anybody attending the service can lay a flower at the Workers Memorial in memory of a loved one.
South East Northumberland Trades Council are holding a health and safety seminar on Saturday 23rd April on the theme of "Strong Laws, Strong Enforcement, Strong Unions", This will be held at the Elephant, Newbiggin Road, Ashington, NE63 0SZ. There will be refreshments from 10.30, with the seminar starting at 11.00 Followed at 12.45 pm by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Memorial Garden in North Seaton Cemetery,
A Memorial Service will be held at 12.15 pm in the Rose Garden at Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Canon Lyn Jamieson will take the service and there will be various other speakers. All welcome.
Rally at Liverpool Man Island, on the South Piazza of Georges Dock Building, (Corner of Mann Island and the Strand), Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DD. Assemble at 11.00am with rolling programme of events throughout the day with the Bob Tressell Festival. Speakers to be confirmed.
Meet on Preston Flag market at 11.30am with a musical build up to a minutes silence at noon followed by speeches. There will then be a march with banners through Preston to lay wreaths at the Lund Street memorial in remembrance of those who lost their lives through work, any organisation can either order a wreath through us or bring their own.
There will be a memorial service at the Unite workers memorial tree in Astley Park on Friday 29th of April at 18:00. Meet at the park gates, Park Road at 17:45pm.
Rally in Albert Square at 12 noon to 13.00 . Speakers include: Kevan Nelson, UNISON; Ian Hodson President BFAWU; Union safety reps, Families of those killed by work, Phil Liptrot, Thompsons Solicitors, and local MPs. There will be a reading of the names of those killed at work, Laying of wreaths and one minutes silence. Music by Claire Mooney.
There will be a street stall to mark Workers' Memorial Day on Wednesday April 27th, at the Workers' Statue, Dalton Road, Barrow-in-Furness, from 11.00 am - 1.00pm. The stall will highlight the WMD 2016 theme of 'Strong Laws - Strong Enforcement - Strong Unions', and as well as giving out information about WMD. They will be distributing information about why people should join a union, highlighting the issue of unionised workplaces being safer workplaces.
A ceremony will be held at 12:30 by the memorial tree at the Sudell Cross end of Northgate, Blackburn.
Saturday 23rd April, 10:30 am Christie Park Alexandria, G83 0DF, at the memorial tree. Speakers will include Louise Taggart, Scottish Hazards & FACK; Councillor Jim Bollan, West Dunbartonshire Council; Ian Tasker STUC Assistant Secretary
Assemble at 12.30 pm for a Remembrance Ceremony at 1.00 pm at Persley Walled Garden Bridge of Don, Aberdeen
Thursday 28th April, Ceremony at Workers Memorial, Bathgate Sports Centre, Balbardie Park Torphichen Road, Bathgate, West Lothian EH48 4LA at 12.30pm
Thursday , 28 April, 12.30, Michael McGahey memorial, George V Park , Bonnyrigg, EH19 2AD. Commemorative address will be given by Ryan Boyle, Vice-Chair of the STUC Youth Committee
Thursday, 28th April, 12 noon, Sumerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge, ML5 1QD
Thursday 28th April, 12 Noon, Memorial Tree, Adjacent to Discovery Point, Riverside Drive, Dundee
Thursday 28th April,1.00pm Ceremony at IWMD Tree and memorial, West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, EH2 2HG.
Saturday 23rd April, 11.45am for 12 noon, Municipal Buildings Falkirk, FK1 5RS
Thursday, 28 April, 12 noon People's Palace/Winter Gardens G40 1AT
Thursday 28th April, 6.30 pm, Memorial Garden, Kilwinning Road, Irvine.
Saturday April 30th. 10.45am for 11.00am,Dower House in Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock, KA3 1XB
Thursday 28th April 11.00am, Memorial Tree, Beveridge Park, Abbotshall Road, Kirkcaldy, KY2 5LZ
Meet at the Workers Memorial and tree in the Grounds of the War Memorial Pelham Road Immingham at 10:00. Service Conducted By the Revd Mary Vickers Industrial and Urban Chaplain.
Location The Workers Memorial and Tree in the Grounds of the War Memorial Nunn’s Corner Grimsby. 13:00. Service conducted By the Revd Mary Vickers Industrial and Urban Chaplain.
Will be held at the Workers Memorial and tree in the Pier Gardens Alexandra Road Cleethorpes at 15:00. Service Conducted By Rev Paul Hunter.
A memorial stone will be laid at 12:00 at Sir Nigel Gresley Square, Doncaster DN1 3BU. There will also be a minutes silence and speakers.
Meet at Scunthorpe Baptist Church, Ashby Road, Scunthorpe, DN16 1NR at 10:00 for refreshments. There will be a church ceremony at 10:30 followed by a wreath laying ceremony at Central Park at 11:30. The event is supported by the children of Berkeley Junior School and The Scunthorpe and District Pipe Band.
There will be a wreath laying and act of commemoration at 12:00 noon in Victoria Gardens (outside Central Library), Headrow, Leeds
There will be a service of remembrance with speakers, poems, and hymns at 18:00 on 29th April at All Saints Church, Pavement (Just off Parliament Street), York, YO1 9UP
Meet at the workers Memorial Tree, Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield, S1 2HH, 12;30 for a rally followed by wreath laying. Please bring banners and wreaths if you wish.
Meet at 12:00 noon outside Wilko on Southgate in Halifax to leaflet. Followed at 13:00 by Halifax Commemoration, Wreath Laying and Reading outside Northgate House.
Meet at 11:00 at Cliffe Castle followed by a ceremony at noon at Keighley Town Hall Square.
There will be an event organised by the Wales TUC at 1 Cathedral Rd, Cardiff from 11 am until 12.30. There will be speeches and a wreath laying ceremony at the permanent workers memorial day memorial outside the building, followed by one minute silence. A small buffet will be provided.
Issued: 18 January, 2016