Issue date
10 Mar 2006

Workers' Memorial Day: 28 April 2011

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.

On 28 April 2011 trade unions will be highlighting the crucial role played by trade unions, strong regulation and effective enforcement in securing safer workplaces. Within the UK many unions and the TUC will be using the day to highlight the major effect that the cuts in HSE and local authority resources, and the lack of inspection and enforcement activity will have on working people.

This is a list of some of those events that are happening up and down the country. They range from rallies and services to workplace meetings. Most will also feature a minute's silence at noon, or a suitable time.

What can you do?

  • Get your employer to allow some form of recognition of the day, such as one minute's silence to remember anyone who has died at 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;
  • Write a letter to the local press;
  • Organising a local meeting on health and safety. You could focus on a particular issue of concern where you work, such as violence or lone working;
  • Arranging 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;
  • Asking local religious centres to include Workers' Memorial Day in their worship during the Week;
  • Distribute purple 'forget-me-not' ribbons, the symbol of Workers Memorial Day;
  • Finding out what other unions, your local Hazards group, or regional TUC or Trades Council are planning and taking part or organising a joint event.

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]


For resources on Workers Memorial day including ribbons car stickers and posters contact the Greater Manchester Hazards centre or e-mail [email protected].

National Events

  • Rail
    One Day conference for railworkers. Organised by ORR with 250 safety representatives from RMT, TSSA, ASLEF and UNITE unions. Edgebaston. Rail workers can get details from their union.
  • CWU
    The CWU's Health and Safety Dept and Education and Training Dept will open their new CWU Workers Memorial Garden at the CWU Education and Training Centre, Alvescot Lodge, Bamptom, Oxon, OX18. 2PU. The event will commence at 12:00 and the garden incorporates tributes to past CWU members and reps as well as a place for reflection on all workers who are killed and injured at work.
  • NUJ
    The NUJ's Health and Safety Committee is asking all chapels to call a minute's silence to commemorate journalists who have been killed in the course of their work.

London, South and Eastern

  • Tower Hill
    The Construction Safety Campaign is organising a march and protest. Gather Tower Hill 9.30am at the statue of the Unknown Building Worker, Tower Hill next to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. There will be speakers and a minute's silence for all those killed from work activities, followed by a March (leaving at 10:30) to the Majors Office. At 12:00 there will be a protest against cuts in health and safety outside the Department of Work and Pensions, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9DA.
  • Chelmsford
    There will be an event in Central Park, Chelmsford Essex, at 13:00 with an address, prayers, a period of Silence and laying the wreaths. Organised by Chelmsford Trades Council. Followed by, at 20:00 a Public Meeting, at Friends Meeting House, Rainsford Road. 'HEALTH & SAFETY AND THE GOVERNMENT'S CUTS AGENDA'. Local community stalls and Fairtrade refreshments from 7.15pm. A Workers Memorial Day Exhibition will run from 24 - 30 April 2011 at Chelmsford Library, Public Square, Chelmsford.
  • Waltham Forest
    Commemorative event outside the Town Hall, Forest Rd, E17. 12.30. The event will remember two workers killed in Waltham Forest in the previous year. There will also be a showing of a film by Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK), on 19th April. The film will be followed by an opportunity to discuss the issues it raises. 17.30 - 18.30. Waltham Forest Sports and Social Club, Town Hall, Forest Rd, E17.
  • Croydon
    A memorial candle will be lit by the Mayor at the Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET at 10am. The event itself will last for about half an hour and will include addresses by the Mayor and the Secretary of Croydon trades council.

South West

  • Bristol
    There will be the laying a wreath at the Workers Memorial Plaque in Castle Park, Bristol at 1300 organised by Bristol Trades Council. All welcome.
  • Devonport
    Union members at Babcock Marine and Technology, Devonport, will be holding a minute's silence and read a roll call at 11.00 am, during their Time out For Safety period, in memory of those who have died.


  • Coventry
    Coventry Trades Council will be hold a commemoration between 12.00 and 13:00 with guest speaker Yvonne Washbourne. The event will be held between St Mary's Street and Bayley Lane, Coventry
  • Wolverhampton
    The 20th annual commemoration will be held at 12.30pm at the Cenotaph in front of the Civic Centre and St Peters' church, St Peters Square opposite Civic Centre and St Peters Church Wolverhampton WV1 1TS. There will be trade union speakers, wreath laying and reading by Rev. Sellick, Industrial Chaplain of the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission organised by Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council
  • Birmingham
    The Birmingham commemorative event will take place at 12:30 at the commemorative stone outside St Phillips Cathedral, Colmore Row where a service to remember the dead will also be held and wreaths will be laid.
  • Solihull
    There will be an event commencing at 12:30 at Brueton Gardens (opp Barley Mow Pub) in Solihull. All welcome.
  • Dudley
    Dudley Trades Council are organising a gathering at the Coronation Gardens, Priory Road, Dudley, (Opposite Council House) commencing at 12:00.
  • Chesterfield
    There is a commemorative rally from 11am to 1pm in the Arena, New Square at Chesterfield's historic market. For more information contact Joanne Carlin or Shay Boyle of The Trade Union Safety Team on: 01246 380415 or email: [email protected]
  • Corby
    There is an event commemorating Workers Memorial Day on Saturday 30th April, at the Steelworkers Statue, outside The Cube, Corby, from 11.00 a.m. The commemoration will be followed by a light buffet. It is organised by GMB Northants Community Branch but all are welcome.
  • Leicester
    There will be a commemoration, 12-00 noon. Outdoor public meeting at the Workers Memorial Tree in the Town Hall Square at which the Lord Mayor of Leicester will be in attendance.
  • Lincoln
    Rally to mark Workers Memorial Day organised by Lincoln trades council, 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm, Speakers Corner, Cornhill, Lincoln.
  • Ashfield
    Ashfield District Council are to sound the fire alarm as a signal for all staff to observe a minute's silence at 12:00

Yorkshire and the Humber

  • Sheffield
    Sheffield Trades Union Council is organising an International Workers' Memorial Day Ceremony at the Workers' Memorial Tree which is situated in front of the Sheffield Town Hall. It will start at 12:30. The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, has been invited to open the Ceremony and a number of local trade unionists and citizens have been invited to speak. Event Address: Pinstone Street, Sheffield S1 2HH
  • Immingham
    Service at 10-30am at the Workers Memorial in the grounds of the War Memorial Pelham Road Immingham. Service will be conducted by The Reverend Mary Vickers Industrial Chaplain. There will be a minute's silence and speakers.
  • Grimsby
    Service at 1-00pm at the Workers Memorial in the grounds of the War Memorial Nunn's Corner Grimsby. Service will be conducted by David Shenton. There will be a minute's silence and speakers.
  • Cleethorpes
    Service at 3-00pm at the Workers Memorial in the Pier Gardens Alexandra Road Cleethorpes. Service will be conducted by The Reverend Paul Hunter. There will be a minute's silence and speakers. Anyone who would like to help or support with this, or the Grimsby or Immingham events please contact [email protected]
  • Barnsley
    There will be an event at the Cenotaph, Barnsley Town Hall at 12:00. The Mayor of Barnsley has been invited to open the ceremony and there will be speeches and a wreath laying ceremony.
  • Bradford
    There will be a rally together at 12:00 in the memorial garden at the back of Bradford City Hall. Bradford council will be lowering the flags on City Hall as a mark of respect.  UCATT has requested that building workers in the city centre take time out from the construction so as there is a little peace for ten minutes and so they can join in the memorial. There will be a minutes silence and placing of wreaths and flowers followed by speeches.
  • Doncaster
    There will be a service of memorial 11.45 by the Worker's Memorial Tree (past Primark next to Bon Marché opposite Market Offices). They will also have a minute's silence at 12:00. Organised by Doncaster Trades Council.

North West

  • Manchester
    Assemble at Mechanics at 11.00 and march to Albert Square. There will be a rally at Albert Square at 12:00 with a minute's silence. Please bring union banners, placards, flowers, and wear the purple forget-me-knot. Organised by North West TUC and Manchester Hazards Centre. Prior to the march there will be a meeting on Safety Reps rights at the Mechanics at 9.30 - 11.00 Contact [email protected] to book a place.
  • Bolton
    The local Unison branch are organising a minute's silence at 12 midday at a stall in the Town Square. They will also be leafleting the precinct between 11:00 and 13:00
  • Chorley
    Memorial service at the Workers Memorial Tree Astley Park, Chorley. Service and speakers starting at 6 pm, please bring flags and banners', contact Steve Turner Chorley Trades Council, [email protected]
  • Liverpool
    Merseyside UNITE are organising an event at 12 noon South Piazza Georges Dock Building, (corner of Mann Island and the Strand) pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DD Colin Carr 0151 203 1907 or 07799114246
  • Liverpool
    There will be Union stalls in the foyers of Royal Liverpool University Hospital & foyer of Liverpool Heart & chest Hospital / Broadgreen between 11:00 and14:00. Organised by Unison Liverpool Acute Hospitals Branch
  • Liverpool
    GMB are organising Safety representative's workshop at Columbus Quay, commencing 09.30. Then a Workers Memorial Day Service will take place in the front car park by the Workers Memorial Plaque, followed by discussion & debate around planning Workers Memorial Day event 2012.
  • Liverpool
    A memorial day event will be held at the UCATT memorial, Hunter Street. Assemble at 11:45. There will be speeches ad a minute's silence observed.
  • Preston
    There will be an event on Saturday 30th April, assembling at 11.30am in the Flag Market with a minute's silence at 12 noon, service and speakers, more information from


  • Sunderland
    Northern region of the TUC is holding Workers Memorial Day seminar focusing on support for workers with cancer and there will be speakers from the Asbestos Support Group and Macmillan cancer support. The morning training day /seminar will take place in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre, Sunderland, starting at 10:00 and finish with lunch at 12.00. To book a place call 0191 232 3175
  • Sunderland
    There will be a wreath laying ceremony, organised by the Northern TUC in the Memorial Garden at the Civic Centre at around 13:00. Attendees will then make their way to Sunderland Minster.
  • Durham
    Durham Mining Communities Banner Group and the North East Shop Stewards' at Stanley Village, near Crook, County Durham. Have organised an evening event. Assemble at the Foresters at 6.00-6.30pm, weather permitting, for a short parade to St.Thomas's Church at 7.00pm.
  • Hartlepool
    Workers Memorial Day Remembrance Service & Wreath Laying Ceremony at 12.30pm, in the Christchurch TIC & Art Gallery, Church Square, Hartlepool. Speakers include Paul Kenny, General Secretary of the GMB. Organised by Hartlepool Trades Council.
  • Hartlepool
    Hartlepool Trades Union Council has also organised a Health & Safety Training Seminar at Hartlepool College of Further Education, Stockton Street, Hartlepool, under the auspices of Northern TUC, to promote Health & Safety in the Northern Region. This will take place before the remembrance service, commencing at 9:00.
  • Gateshead
    There will be a memorial service organised by Gateshead and District Trades Council in Saltwell Park, Gateshead commencing at 13:30 (assemble at 13:00).


  • Edinburgh
    There will be a ceremony organised by Edinburgh trades council at the Memorial Tree in West Princes Street Gardens between 12 noon at 1 pm on Thursday 28th April 2011. There will be come short speeches and contributions and wreaths will be laid at the Memorial Tree. This year there will be an anti cuts theme.
  • Greenock
    A Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place in Clyde Sq at 11am. Procession leaving from the Grand Corridor in Inverclyde Council Municipal Buildings. All welcome.
  • Midlothian
    A simple ceremony will take place at the memorial flowerbed in George V Park Bonnyrigg commencing at 12.30.p.m.
  • Glasgow
    There will be a rally in Glasgow at the Robert Burns statue in George Square. It will commence at 11:00. All welcome.
  • Fife
    Company flags will be lowered, a minute's silence will be observed and an explanatory Safety Bulletin will be issued for WMD at the Babcock plant at Rosyth in Fife.


  • Cardiff
    A memorial to those who have lost their lives at work is being unveiled in the grounds of 1 Cathedral Road by the First Minister The ceremony will take place at 13:00 and will include speeches from the Wales TUC and families who have lost loved ones at work. If you are interested in attending, please contact [email protected] or call 029 2034 7011

Northern Ireland