April 28, 2024: Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job

April 19, 2024

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job. Traditionally on this day, all over the world, public ceremonies are held at 11 a.m. to mourn these workers, and those suffering from occupational disease.

On this day across the country, many labour councils will be hosting public events to honour the memories of those who lost their lives at work. As April 28 this year falls on a Sunday, we strongly encourage those of you who can attend a local event in your community to commemorate workers who have been lost on the job.

For our members in BC, you can find a list of events in your area by visiting dayofmourning.bc.ca. For our members outside of BC, you can find events listed across Canada on the Canadian Labour Congress website. While most events are taking place on April 28, there are a handful of labour councils participating in events on April 25 or 26, including the Fraser Valley Labour Council on April 26 in Abbotsford.

April 28 is an important opportunity for workers and employers to remember the dead, but critical for all of us to express our continued commitment to protecting workers and preventing further tragedies, and making every workplace safe and healthy for everyone. No one should ever have to go to work and not be able to safely return home.

In 2023, 201 claims of workers who died were reported to the Workers’ Compensation Board, though only 175 of these reported claims were accepted.

We also recognize that there have been increased instances of violence in workplaces and communities particularly targeting people of colour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, targeting those who identify as 2SGLTBQIA+ and particularly towards the transgender community, as well as increased hate speech and violence driven by global conflicts including, but not limited to, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

All of these have contributed to the deterioration of overall health and safety in the workplace, including mental health.

On April 28, please join your fellow union members at an event in your community as we remember those we have lost and continue to fight to ensure that no one is forced to risk injury, illness, or death as a result of going to work. If you are unable to participate in a public event, please consider observing a moment of silence at 11 a.m. on April 28. Once again, you can find more information and other resources at dayofmourning.bc.ca or on the Canadian Labour Congress website.

Join us to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives on the job and to bring awareness to workplace safety on April 28.

In solidarity,

Graeme Hutchison, MoveUP President
Rysa Kronebusch, MoveUP Vice-President and Chair, Health & Safety Committee