BURNABY – More than 600 CUPE members from all over BC, delegates to CUPE BC’s 53rd annual convention, will gather on the front steps of the legislature on Thursday to mark the annual Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.
“Every year on April 28 we pause to recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job,” says CUPE BC President Paul Faoro. “The recent death of CUPE 1004 member Jody Taylor, an arborist for the City of Vancouver who died while at work earlier this month, serves as an unfortunate reminder that there are still too many workplace fatalities.
“Everyone expects to return home at the end of their work day, but sadly sometimes that doesn’t happen. The Day of Mourning is such an important day to not only mourn for those who we have lost, but also to renew our commitment to fighting for the health and safety of current and future workers.”
CUPE BC, CUPE Local 50 and the Victoria Labour Council are co-hosting the event, which will start at 11 am and will feature speakers including Paul Faoro (President, CUPE BC), Aaron Ekman (Secretary Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour), Bronwyn Barter (President, CUPE 873) and Leonard Rousseau (Business Representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 230), as well ceremonial guard of honour provided by Victoria Firefighters.
“This event recognizes all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice at work,” says Victoria Labour Council president Mike Eso. “Last year 182 workers died in BC, which is far too many. We must continue to fight for improved health and safety standards for today’s workers.”
The Day of Mourning, which was created by CUPE members, was first observed in 1984 and is now recognized by workers across Canada and in more than 100 countries worldwide.
“We have recognized this day every year since it began in 1984,” said CUPE 50 president John Burrows. “We are proud of our Occupational Health and Safety committees and their continued commitment to the prevention of workplace accidents and injuries.”
WHAT: CUPE BC delegates to join Day of Mourning observance at BC Legislature
WHEN: 11 a.m., BC Legislature front steps
WHO: More than 600 CUPE BC delegates, plus:
Mike Eso, President, Victoria Labour Council
Paul Faoro, President, CUPE BC
Bronwyn Barter, President, CUPE 873 (Ambulance Paramedics of BC)
Aaron Ekman, Secretary-Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour
Leonard Rousseau, Business Representative, IBEW Local 230
For other Day of Mourning ceremonies taking place around British Columbia, please visit the BC Federation of Labour website here.