Issue date
26 Mar 2012
Workers' Memorial Day

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 TUC is calling on health and safety representatives, trades councils and safety campaigners to make 28th April a day of action to defend health and safety from the attacks on regulation, enforcement, cuts and refusal to tackle the massive toll that health and safety breaches take on workers. Our health and our safety is under attack like never before and we must defend it, for our sake and that of future generations.

This is a list of some of those events that are happening up and down the country. Most 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 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;
  • Write to your MP or local paper telling them why what the government is doing is wrong. Some ideas on what to say are on the TUC website; Download lobbying guide [PDF]
  • 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. Download media guide [PDF]
  • Ask local religious centres to include Workers' Memorial Day in their worship during the Week;
  • Ask local Football teams to include a mention of Worker's Memorial Day in their programme for any games on the day;
  • Distribute purple 'forget-me-not' ribbons, the symbol of Workers Memorial Day;

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]

The TUC has produced a number of resources for the day including a leaflet, poster and bulletins. They are at

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

TUC Day of Action list of activities

Find out what is happening near you by selecting a link below.


National Events

UNISON staff will be provided with a purple Workers Memorial Day ribbon and will be invited to take part in a minutes silence at 12 midday on 26 April.  All staff at UNISON Centre will be invited to join the committee members for the minutes silence and for a short speech. The Day will also be marked at the Unison National health Conference and Further Education Seminars.

London, South and Eastern

Members of the local Trades Council will be out and about in the town centre on the day on a myth-busting mission to galvanise support for health and safety regulation under threat from government cuts.

From 11.30am to 1pm Chelmsford Trades Council will be distributing leaflets and providing health & safety information in the High Street close to Lloyds Bank. At 1.15pm assemble in Central Park, Chelmsford, at the Memorial Tree, close to the lake and bowling green where a short memorial event will take place. There will also be a health & safety exhibition in Chelmsford Library's public square from 28 April to 4 May.

Commercial Road, London
Rally to commemorate the Watney Market sewer disaster in 1990 when 3 workers were killed by fumes. Assemble at the Clock Tower, Watney Street market, Commercial Road, London E1 at 12:30.

The Croydon  traditional  March & Rally on Saturday the 28th April 2012, will include activity for Workers memorial Day. The assembly point is 12:00 at Elmwood Road, Broad Green, West Croydon. The march, headed by the Schiehallion pipe band,  will leave by 12.30 via London Road, North End, High Street, South End, Coombe Road, to a rally at Ruskin House at 13.30.

Hammersmith & Fulham
At 13:00 on Friday 27th April 2012 there will be a march and memorial meeting. Assemble outside Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, Hammersmith W6 9JU with banners to march over to Furnival Gardens (opposite Town Hall across Great West Road) for lunchtime memorial meeting at the Workers Memorial Tree.  All Welcome.  Details:  Gwen Cook 020 7385 8536.

There is a H&S themed open day event on Wednesday 25th April at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.  they will be giving out leaflets & ribbons and raising awareness to staff and ask them to remember those killed or injured at work.

There is an event on Friday 27th April in the Rochester Castle Grounds.  The UNISON branch will be naming staff that have died in service and attaching name tags to the tree with ribbon in memory of them.  The Councillors as well as staff are invited to attend.

The CWU will be holding a special Defend Health and Safety Campaign Day of Action & Workers Memorial Day Event at the CWU Workers Memorial Garden at the CWU Education and Training Centre Alvescot Lodge, Alvescot, Bampton, Oxon. OX18 2PY. Details from: [email protected]

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Trades Council will be staging an event on the day. At 11.45am Assemble War Memorial, Poole Park, Poole. At 12noon  there will be one minute's silence followed by speeches, leafleting the public and giving out commemorative ribbons. The event will end at 12.30pm. In addition, the trades council have written to all three local authorities asking them to display any flags at half mast on the day.

There will be a rally at Victoria Park (Edinburgh Road entrance) assembling at 11:45 am and a minute's silence at noon followed by speakers and the distribution of suitable ribbons.

From 10:00 to 16:00 Reading Trades Council and affiliated unions will be in Broad Street manning stalls and distributing leaflets. All welcome to join them.

Tower Hill, London
There will be a rally at the Building Worker statue on Tower Hill. Assemble at 10:30. With speeches and a minutes silence. Organised by the Construction Safety Campaign 07747795954

Waltham Forest
UNISON Waltham Forest local government branch is holding an ceremony on Friday 27 April from 1pm at Walthamstow Town Hall.  There will be a selection of speakers.  All UNISON

There is an open day on health and safety at the Whitstable & Tankerton Hospital to raise awareness of the day

11am Assemble, Church Green, Witney, Oxon, 12 noon march stopping at Marriott's Close to remember Altin Balla, building worker, who died on this construction site in 2008.


WMD commemoration event at the Workers Commemoration Stone in the grounds of St Phillips Cathedral, City Centre, Birmingham. Further details of the event to follow.

An event will be held at 12:00 at the Peace Garden, Bayley Lane CV1 5RJ

Trades Council commemorative event at 12:00 on 27th April at Coronation Gardens, Priory Road, DY1 1HF (Opposite Council House)

Meeting at the Unite the union office at 10.30am  for short presentations on health & safety.
Followed at 12 noon by an outdoor public meeting at the workers memorial tree in the Town Hall Square.

There will be a stall in Abington Street, Northampton at the Cobbler’s Last statue from midday-1.30pm and then a public meeting at The Friends’ Meeting House, Wellington Street, Northampton, NN1 3AS (at the side of Marks & Spencer’s) at 2pm. Guest speaker Ian Draper, Stress Network Co-ordinator. The meeting will focus not just on fatal injuries but the insidious danger of work related stress in today’s society.

Commemoration to be held on Friday 27th April @ 12.30pm in Brueton Gardens, by Barley Mow.

Unions and supporters to meet at CWU Offices (Lindsay Street, Hanley,ST1 4EP) at 11.15. Then there will be an outdoor public meeting from 11.45 onwards at the Workers' Memorial Tree outside the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent, with a minute of silence at noon, followed by speakers and the presentation of a wreath.

GKN Sankey ltd Telford are organising a memorial service on the 30th in remembrance of workers memorial day.  All work will stop at 11 30. There will then be short speeches and the opening of two park benches with commemorative plaque, followed by lunch. Work will resume 12 30.

Meet outside St.Matthew's church, market WS1 3DG at 12:00

21st Workers' Memorial Day  annual commemoration to be held at 12.30pm at the Cenotaph in front of the Civic Centre and St Peters' church. WV1 1TS 

North west

Barrow in Furness
Meet at the Steelworks sculpture for speeches and then proceed to the "Spirit of Barrow" Statue which commemorates the skills of the Barrow workforce for leaflet distribution.

Assemble 13.00 at the Town Hall step for speeches. At 13.45 march to the Worker's Memorial Tree at Northgate led by lone piper. At 14.00 - Two  minutes silence and laying of wreaths. For more information contact [email protected]

To attend the rally in Chorley, meet at the Park Gates, Astley Park, at 5.45pm on 27 April 2012

Crewe & Nantwich
There will be a Street Stall in Crewe Town Centre - Market Square  from 10:30 -14:30 to commemorate the dead and support the TUC Day of Action to defend Health & Safety.

There will be a rally at 12 noon on the South Piazza of Georges Dock Building
(Corner of Mann Island and the Strand) Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DD. Speakers include Len McCluskey- General Secretary Unite and Simon Weller- National Organiser ASLEF. For more information contact John Sheridan on 07814 197734

Assemble at the UCATT Memorial, Hunter Street at 11.45 a.m. Speakers:  Luciana Berger, MP; Councillor Frank Prendergast, Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Bill Parry, UCATT Regional Council Chairman.  Contact UCATT Tel: 0151 228 8455

March and rally. Gather near CIS Building, Corporation Street /Miller Street at noon. The March will move off at 12.30 led by a band and march up Corporation Street, and Cross Street into Albert Square for a rally. At 13:00 there will be a minutes silence to 'Remember the Dead'
Speakers will include trade union safety reps, members of FACK and MPs who will speak on 'Fighting like hell for the Living' against the current government attacks on workers' health and safety. For more information contact the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre For more details contact [email protected]

Gather at 11.30am in Flag Market, minutes silence at 12 noon, service and speakers, more information from
[email protected]


Berwick upon Tweed & District Trades Union Council will be setting up a stall outside the Town Hall, Berwick with information on the day.

County Durham
Stanley Crook, near Crook, Co Durham. Remembrance service at St Thomas' Church. Assemble at 1pm (car park at east end of the village, near the Foresters Guest House DL15 9RY). The march will move off at 1.30pm, with a band. We will march the three quarters of a mile to St Thomas' Church, Stanley Crook, where a service will be held. Sandwiches and refreshments will be available. For details email Ben Sellers at [email protected]

Service at Remembrance Garden, Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Assemble 1pm. Speakers include Ian Mearns MP for Gateshead and Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon. The Mayor of Gateshead will also be attending. Contact: Dave Morton, [email protected]

Remembrance Service & Wreath Laying Ceremony, 12.30pm, Christchurch (TIC & Art Gallery), Church Square, Hartlepool. Guest speakers include Ronnie Draper, General Secretary, BFAWU and Paul Mackney - Former General Secretary, NATFHE/UCU. A Health & Safety Seminar is also being organised to be held that day at Hartlepool College of Further Education (9.00am to 12noon) with speakers / presentations.
Organised by Hartlepool Trades Union Council For further information please contact [email protected]

Denton Burn roundabout. The UCATT regional Chair and regional secretary will be among those attending a Wreath laying at
Joe Willis Memorial Plaque, Western Bypass Junction of A1 and A69, Joe Willis was a UCATT member who was working on the Western Bypass when he was killed by a reversing lorry in the late 1980's.

Northern Ireland

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Health and Safety has organised a tree dedication ceremony in the grounds of Stormont Estate at 2.45pm.  After this there will be a reception with some light refreshments at 3.30 in the Long Gallery,


There will be a ceremony at the Memorial Park, (Daneston), 10:00.  Followed by a May Day March at 12:00.  Organised by Aberdeen Trades Council

There will be a ceremony at Workers Memorial, Bathgate Sports Centre, Balbardie Park Torphichen Road, Bathgate, West Lothian EH48 4LA, at 12.30pm

Meet at the Workers Memorial, George V Park Bonnyrigg, at 12.30pm 

There will be  a commemoration at Summerlee Industrial Museum, Heritage Way, Coatbridge, ML5 1QD; 12 noon.

Commemoration at Memorial Tree adjacent to Discovery Point Riverside Drive Dundee, 12 noon, In addition thr Dundee City Council Annual Lecture is to be given by Asbestos Action Tayside in Dundee City Chambers, City Square on 27th April.

There will be a ceremony at the Workers Memorial Tree and Memorial, West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh; 12 noon.

There is a ceremony in Falkirk Council HQ, Municipal Buildings, West Bridge Street, Falkirk, FK1 5RS;  12 noon

Ceremony at the Memorial Tree, Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy; 11.00 a.m. on Thursday 26th April

There is a commemoration at George Square at 12 Noon.  Wreaths will be laid at the proposed site of the new memorial do be unveiled in 2013.

Procession from Inverclyde Council Municipal Buildings, Greenock 11.00am Service and Wreath Laying Ceremony Clyde Sq

Commemoration at the memorial, Council Offices, Beckford Street, Hamilton at 12 noon. 

Commemoration at Memorial Gardens, at Burn Street, Irvine Memorial Gardens, North Ayrshire, 26th April at 6.30 -7pm

Assemble 10. 45 am at Dower House, Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock. Ceremony and laying of wreath at 11.00 am.

On 30th April 2012, Babcock will lower its flags to half-mast and invite employees to observe a one minute silence at 12:00 noon in remembrance.

There will be a Tree Planting ceremony at Old Viewforth at 10:30, followed by contributions from Trade Unions and others.

South West

March to protect health and safety. Meet at the bottom of Union Street at 10:30 and walk up to castle green via Broadmead at 10:45 to be at the memorial tree at Castle Green for 11am for speeches.

UNISON invites Bristol City Council employees to a Workers Memorial Day event on April 27, from 9am at the new memorial tree at the rear of the Council House. Ribbons will be tied to the tree for those who have died in the South West because of their work.  At 12 noon there will be one minutes silence and staff will be wearing the IWMD purple ribbon for the day. 

Trade unionists are going to leaflet in Plymouth City Centre  and hold a silent period as well as say some words - to mark Workers' Memorial Day. Leafleting from 11am (meet at the Sundial), period of silence at noon, speakers after the silence - people and activists clear to enjoy the afternoon.

From approx 10.00am the PCS DWP Devon Branch will be raising the profile of WMD around Castle Circus by giving out leaflets and selling ribbons to raise funds for Hazards and respecting the one minute silence at 12:00.


UNISON Wales/Cymru Region plan to open and display a book of condolence at the UNISON office in Cardiff.

Rally at 1 Cathedral Road. Refreshments from 10:00, starts at 11:00. Speeches from First Minister, President of the Wales TUC and others. This will be followed by a wreath laying ceremony and a minutes silence at noon.

Workers' Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony  at Dock Workers Memorial, St Woolos Cemetery, Stow Hill, Newport NP20 4EA, organised by Newport Trades Council (speakers to include Paul Flynn MP) at 11.45 am. Contact [email protected]

Yorkshire & Humberside

The Barnsley Workers Memorial Day will take place on Saturday 28 April 2012 at 12.30pm at the The Cenotaph outside Barnsley Town Hall, with speeches from Union Representatives and health and safety officials.

12 noon. Workers’ Memorial Plaque, around the back of Bradford City Hall. A minute's silence followed by speakers, laying of wreaths and a street performance.
For further information please contact Bradford Area Safety Reps Association Tel:  01274 393949

3-00pm.Workers Memorial in the Pier Gardens Alexandra Road Cleethorpes. Service Conducted By Rev Paul Hunter.

Workers' Memorial Day 'Cuts cost Lives', Saturday 28th April 2012 organised by Kirklees Unison. To remember workers who have lost their lives at work, Kirklees Unison will be laying wreaths at Huddersfield
Town Hall, HD1 2TA at 11.00 am and the Memorial Stone, Longcauseway, Dewsbury at 11.00 am followed by refreshments at Dewsbury Socialist Club, 67 Bradford Road, WF13 2EG. For more information Kirklees Unison  01484 511826; Bob Stoker, Secretary  07530633708

10-00am. Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Pelham Road Immingham. Service Conducted By Rev Daniel Haylett.

Meet at Cliffe Castle Park Keighley adjacent main entrance by the flowering cherry tree planted for Workers Memorial Day. Minute silence at 11.30 and speakers. Walk from there to Town Hall Square Keighley to Memorial garden opened in 2011 with a memorial service at 12.00 noon. (Stephen Allen and all workers who have died at work locally) and speakers. For further information contact: [email protected].

1-00pm. Workers Memorial in the Grounds of the War Memorial Nunn's Corner Grimsby.

"Cuts Cost Lives.  Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living" 22nd April. 10.30am Memorial Service at All Saints Church
11.45am Wreath Laying and Multicultural Ceremony at the Workers' Memorial Plaque in All Saint Garden

12.30pm Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Trades Council is organising an international Workers' Memorial Day Ceremony at the Workers' Memorial Tree, situated in front of Sheffield Town Hall. At 12:30.

More on Workers' Memorial Day