Over the past three decades, labour unions have struggled tirelessly to protect workers on the job from accidents, illness and violence. And although governments have passed important legislation to improve health and safety standards, over 1,000 people die every year in Canada at work.
April 28 is the Day of Mourning, a time when labour unions reflect on the lost sisters and brothers who have died in the workplace. This recently hit close to home for YUSA members, as a young construction worker was killed in October 2011 by falling heavy equipment at the future site of a subway station on York University Campus. This young man had parents, family members and friends.
Both employers and unions throughout the country must reflect on what can be done to eliminate injuries and deaths at work. As union activists, we can renew our commitments to improve health and safety conditions in workplaces everywhere.
As the labour movement always says, “Remember the Fallen. Fight for the Living.” The York University Staff Association and the Confederation of Canadian Unions looks forward to a day when no worker has to be afraid of injury or death on the job.