Communities across Scotland mark International Workers’ Memorial Day

BONNYRIGG: Workers' memorial, King George V Park. International Workers' Memorial Day service and wreathlaying
BONNYRIGG: Workers' memorial, King George V Park. International Workers' Memorial Day service and wreathlaying
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Throughout Scotland communities will gather on Friday, April 28, to remember those killed or who have suffered injury at work.

International Workers’ Memorial Day provides an opportunity for trade unions to reinforce their commitment to campaigning for safer and healthier workplaces where workers are protected from harm and treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said: “On Tuesday at our Congress in Aviemore we heard of the shocking accident record on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route construction project, over 100 injuries since the project commenced; we believe these incidents are directly as a result of consistent failures to consult trade unions, failure to have adequate health and safety representation and the prominent use of agency workers who are too frightened to report safety issues.

“The growing gig economy and the changing world of work each provide significant challenges in delivering safe and healthy work environments for all workers, a challenge only trade unions can deliver, research from across the world shows that where trade unions are present workers are less likely to suffer injury or ill health as a result of work and we will be focusing our effort on making our workplaces, fairer, safer and healthier in future.

“HSE figures show that 144 workers lost their lives in 2015/16, a figure that only scratches the surface of the real picture, many thousands more die as a result of occupational cancers, hundreds as a result of work related road traffic accidents and there is growing concern around suicide linked to work.

“International Workers’ Memorial Day allows us to spend some time reflecting and remembering the victims of health and safety failures and committing to fighting back against ideological attacks on health and safety enforcement by the United Kingdom Government, and the continued undermining of health and safety by certain media outlets only too willing to promote the Government’s position.