International Workers Day to be recognised in Harlow

Politics / Mon 20th Apr 2015 at 10:20am

ON Saturday, April 25 Harlow TUC will be commemorating International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) in Broad Walk from 11am. At 12:50pm we will be marching to St Paul’s church for a short service in the side chapel to be conducted by the Town Chaplain Robert Findlay.

IWMD is normally commemorated on April 28 and was originated by the Canadian Labour Congress as an annual day of remembrance in 1985, which is the anniversary of a comprehensive Workers Compensation Act passed in 1914. In 1991, the Canadian parliament made April 28 an official Workers’ Mourning Day and is now officially recognised in 20 countries.

Hazards campaigner Tommy Harte brought IWMD to the UK in 1992 as a day to ‘Remember the Dead: Fight for the Living’. We added the purple forget-me-knot ribbon as our symbol. The day was officially recognised in the UK in 2010 and consequently Harlow’s Civic Centre flags will be lowered to half mast in honour of those workers killed, injured or health ruined in the course of their work.

A spokesperson said: “The theme for the day this year is “removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace”. Hazardous substances are found in almost every workplace in the UK and many workers have no protection against the possible effects, despite the fact that tens of thousands of workers have their health destroyed by asthma, dermatitis, lung disorders and cancers because of exposures.

“On IWMD Harlow TUC will say NO to attempts by a number of political parties to dismantle our health and safety system when far too many are killed and made ill. We demand a government that puts our lives and health at the centre of a new excellent health and safety system which will benefit all workers”.

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