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APRIL 28, 2022

On the Day of Mourning, we remember the thousands of workers who have been killed or injured on the job, or contracted a workplace-related disease or illness.

As we carefully exit the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, with the virus becoming endemic, we remind all locals and their leadership to use this moment to review protocols, identify opportunities for training, and raise awareness among your members about the importance of workplace health and safety.

As we approach the Day of Mourning, take the time to review this checklist with Health and Safety representatives and Local Executives:

  • Have you reviewed the negotiated language in collective agreement(s) to ensure it meets the health and safety needs of your workplace(s)?
  • Does your collective agreement have Paid Education Leave (PEL) to ensure your members have access to ongoing health and safety training?
  • Has a representative from each workplace or unit taken recent Health and Safety courses from the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, at an Area School, or through Unifor Online Education?
  • Have you called a special meeting of your Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee to identify gaps in knowledge or processes both in the prevention and in the aftermath of a workplace incident or hazard identification? 
  • Are Local leadership well-trained in Health and Safety, knowledgeable about their responsibilities, and able to identify when employers, regulators, police or other stakeholders need to be involved in a workplace incident or hazard identification?

We encourage you to participate in the Day of Mourning. Participation may include moments of silence in the workplace, flags at half-mast for the day, flying the Day of Mourning flag, and wearing Day of Mourning armbands that can be ordered from the national union.

Create an opportunity to discuss this day with your members, as it is difficult to prioritize health and safety if members are not aware of the ongoing incidents of workplace injuries, illness and death. Since the founding of Unifor in 2013, there have been 56 members who have died due to workplace injury or illness. We must do all we can to prevent this from happening again.

As April 28 approaches, let’s review and renew our efforts to make this important day meaningful for our members and the victims who must never be forgotten by taking action to keep each other safe at work.