Apr. 27, 2021
Comrades, Sisters, Brothers
Day of Mourning Statement
We can sometimes become desensitized to tragedy if we start to believe that it is commonplace.
Every year in Canada, over a thousand workers are killed on the job. These are people who may have been working the same job for years, who through chance, mischief or poor working conditions, were taken from their families in the prime of their lives. We mourn today, not only for them and for their friends and family, but also for their co-workers who must return to the workplace with one fewer colleague and the gnawing fear that their workplace is unsafe.
The Day of Mourning is not just for mourning, it is a call to recognize that these deaths, which are often not reported in the news, are avoidable, and must be stopped. In most cases these people did not need to die, and their families could have remained whole with some basic precautions made on the part of the employer.
We don’t yet have the full statistics on how many cases of Covid 19 were caught in the workplace, but we have all heard the stories of outbreaks in factories and retail. We know transmission happens in the workplace, and we, as a union, will continue to pressure our employers to maintain safety standards, allow work from home and provide personal protective gear.
We must fight against unsafe working conditions for every Canadian worker, because every unsafe workplace is a sign to every employer that a lower standard is possible. The working people of this country deserve the highest standards of safety.
This Day of Mourning, we join to express solidarity with all workers across the country and share a moment of silence for all our fallen brothers and sisters.
In solidarity / En toute solidarité,
National President / Président national
Government Services Union / Syndicat des services gouvernementaux
705-233 Gilmour Street
Ottawa ON K2P 0P2
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