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Workers Memorial Day in Birmingham

IMCista | 28.04.2008 16:48 | Workers' Movements | Birmingham

About 50 people gathered today in Birmingham's Pigeon Park (St Phillips Cathedral) to "remember the dead [workers] and fight for the living". The International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) event was organised by UNISON and supported by Birmingham Trades Council. Speeches remembered those who lost their life at or as a result of work, explained the reasons and demanded better health and safety procedures in the workplace.

UNISON had organised a IWMD pre-event in Chamberlain Square on April 19th, which saw a reading of the names of those killed at work in Birmingham and the West Midlands throughout the years, the laying of wreaths and a two minute silence, a remembrance service conducted by Rev Neil Richards, and guest speakers from UNISON and other unions (see

UNISON had also written to MPs urging the parliament to recognise the April 28th each year as a national day of remembrance and asking them to wear a purple ribbon to mark the day.

Figures compiled by the Health and Safety Executive show that between 220 and 250 people die in the UK each year as a result of their work. Around another 1,000 or so more die while driving to or from work. And between 20,000 and 50,000 deaths each year are caused by work-related ill health, including respiratory diseases, various cancers, and heart disease. Last year, 77 people were killed in the construction industry alone.

For more information, see UNISON's page on IWMD:



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  1. ISC International Workers' Memorial Day Statement — One Big Union!