On Wednesday 28 April 2021, 2pm we will be holding an online event with special guest speakers Sharan Burrows, General Secretary of the ITUC, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, Louise Adamson, Families Against Corporate Killers and more speakers tbc. Register for the event.
Join union activists across the country by taking part in a one minute silence at 12.00 to remember all those who have died because of their work.
The Hazards Campaign has produced ribbons, stickers, face coverings and more to help promote the day, all can be ordered using this form.
Some local councils, like Islington and Preston have joined with the TUC in promoting the Stay Safe: Join a Union message with TUC-designed posters on public notice boards and safe working advice online. Ask your council to help promote trade unions and safety at work as the best way to protect workers’ lives, and encourage members to do a letter-writing campaign. Find your local councillors
You may wish to read out the names of people who died this year in your industry, or reference some of them at a vigil or meeting. The details of reported deaths from fatal injuries at work for 2020/21 is available from the Health and Safety Executive (bear in mind not all occupations are covered by HSE)
Use the hashtag #IWMD21 on social media channels to help spread the word about the day and why you’re getting involved.
Help publicise Workers Memorial Day where you work by printing off our poster and displaying it on a notice board, in the toilets, or wherever it will be seen. This campaign pack includes a selection of images to use on social media, and posters for you to print at home or print professionally.
Think of digital tools you can use to call for stronger health and safety protections. Whether it a current call for urgent PPE, or a longer term demand for union recognition - you can make use of the TUC’s Megaphone tool to create a petition about the issues where you work, or email and call elected officials to demand that workers' safety is prioritised over corporate interests.
Where you might have ordinarily held a rally to mark IWMD, it could be done online, with union members having the opportunity to hear speeches. You could ask injured workers and family members who can talk first-hand about the need for strong health and safety protections, the important of campaigning and of strong and active unions. Consider inviting elected officials and community leaders to participate in the call. To spread the word, upload your event details on our interactive map.
Use your online meeting as an opportunity to share a video about the history or importance of workers’ memorial day, with this video from the TUC or this one from Hazards. Or why not make your own video about what Workers Memorial Day means to you and your members?
If you are working on the front lines during the outbreak, organise an event at your workplace to promote the issues of workers' right to a safe job and hold your employer accountable for keeping you safe. It could be a socially distanced stunt, a minute’s silence or a lunch time letter writing exercise. Reach out to the press to increase public awareness of the dangers working people face on the job. If you're running an event please upload the details on our interactive map.
Every day, trade union health and safety reps in workplaces save lives and prevent illness and injury.
Does your workplace have a health & safety rep? If not, contact your union about becoming one. If it does, why not train up more reps? Contact trade unionists you know who'd make great safety reps and encourage them to take on the role.
Read our guide on being a health and safety rep here.
Trade unions have been crucial in securing bereavement and compassionate leave in workplaces. As we come together to remember those who have lost their lives, as union activists we can also reach out to support those experiencing grief.
There may be practical steps unions can take to remember colleagues, like a book of condolences or setting up an online memorial page. Some branches have established online fundraisers for a charity close to the heart of a colleague, or to raise money for the family to cover the cost of a funeral.
Experiencing a bereavement in isolation will be particularly tough. Attendance at funerals is currently restricted due to social distancing measures, but a minute silence or vigil could allow colleagues the opportunity to come together to remember collectively. Union branches may also wish to send a card, flowers or other tokens to the family.
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