British Columbians are remembering workers who lost their lives on the job, at more than 35 Day of Mourning ceremonies around the province on April 28.
Sunday’s Vancouver ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at Jack Poole Plaza, preceded by the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron at 10 a.m. Among those speaking in Vancouver are Sadaf Abdul, who will tell her father’s tragic story, and Mike Shaw, who will talk about his life-changing injury on the job.
Presentations from the Ministry of Labour, the BC Federation of Labour, Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC), and WorkSafeBC will honour lost workers. The ceremony, emceed by the Vancouver & District Labour Council, will conclude with a moment of silence, followed by a piper-led honour-guard procession and the placing of roses as a symbol of remembrance.
In 2018, WorkSafeBC accepted 131 work-related death claims, 66 as a result of occupational disease and 65 from traumatic injury, including 24 claims involving motor-vehicle incidents. The highest numbers of work-related deaths by industry subsector were in general construction (30), transportation and related services (20), and public administration (14).
This marks the 22nd year the BC Fed, the BCBC, and WorkSafeBC have jointly hosted a public commemorative ceremony for the Day of Mourning in Vancouver.
“On April 28 every year, we commemorate the workers who have been killed, injured, or become ill because of their work. In 2018, 187 workers did not return home or passed from work-related illnesses. That’s nearly four workers every week,” says Laird Cronk, President of the BC Federation of Labour:
“The National Day of Mourning is a day for sombre reflection, but also a collective call to action. We must do more to protect workers in B.C.”