Saturday: Workers Memorial Day/Day of Mourning

Sisters and Brothers,

This Saturday, April 28, 2018, the labor movements in the U.S. and Canada will observe Workers Memorial Day and the National Day of Mourning. These days serve as an annual remembrance of workers killed or injured on the job, and renewal of the fight for strong safety and health protections.

At 1pm Eastern time on Saturday, please take a moment to observe the IATSE International Moment of Silence, commemorating those who have been lost or injured on the job. Workers and Locals are asked to pause at work, their local offices, or wherever they are and stop for a moment of silence. Here is a suggested reflection, which may be read aloud:

“Each year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day/National Day of Mourning, working people throughout the world mourn for the people who were hurt or killed on the job, and renew our struggle for safe workplaces. The best way to ensure that workplaces are safe is to make sure workers have the freedom to join together in a union.

Each year, millions of workers are injured – including workers in the entertainment industry working busy, highly-demanding jobs, sometimes in dangerous environments.

Unions have fought for and won a 40-hour workweek. We fought for and won healthcare benefits and strong pensions. We still have a lot of fighting to do to make workplaces safer and to ensure that significant standards are issued, and enforced, to protect workers.

On this Workers Memorial Day/National Day of Mourning, we remember and pay tribute to those in every kind of job and craft, in our own industry and all industries, who have lost their lives on the job or have been injured or made sick.

And on this day, we commit to work together to fight the assault on workers’ right to bargain for fairer workplaces, safer workplaces, a better life and a brighter future.

We mourn, we remember, and we will never stop fighting.

Please pause for a moment of silence.”


Other remembrances for this day can include black arm bands, wearing a purple ribbon with a knot tied in it, reading the names of those members/workers who have died during the year or in the past, or flying your flag at half-mast, or posting a remembrance on social media.

By taking these actions, you honor the workers who went to work in the morning and never returned home. We remember them and their families, and rededicate ourselves to making workplaces safer for all.

The AFL-CIO and Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety have created materials that local unions can download to commemorate this day. Feel free to share them with your followers on social media to help spread the word.

In Solidarity,

Matthew D. Loeb

International President

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