SURREY – CUPE BC President Mark Hancock joined Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and CUPE 402 President Jeannie Kilby to mark the 30th Annual Day of Mourning for workers injured or killed on the job. Speaking at the new Surrey City Hall, Hancock brought greetings from the 85,000 CUPE members in BC and from the 627,000 CUPE members across the country.
“Of all the responsibilities a union has to its members, helping to ensure workplaces are safe is one of the most important. As has been said so many times, no one should have to go to work worrying that they might not make it back home at the end of the day,” said Hancock.
Hancock said that despite all the efforts that we make as workers, despite the efforts of the good and responsible employers, too many workers lose their lives or are seriously injured on the job.
Noting that April 28 is a day to ‘pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living,’ Hancock said that we must keep up the pressure on governments to do more to enforce existing health and safety laws and vigorously prosecute violations when a worker is killed or seriously injured.
Jeannie Kilby talked briefly about the wide range of work CUPE 402 members perform throughout the City of Surrey before reading the Day of Mourning Worker’s Statement.
CUPE BC Secretary Treasurer Paul Faoro attended a Day of Mourning event in New Westminster, sponsored by the Vancouver & District and New Westminster & District Labour Councils and the BC Federation of Labour.
In 1984 CUPE’s National Health and Safety Committee proposed the idea for a day to honour workers injured or killed at work. Canada was the first country to formally commemorate workers who’d been killed at work. Today, the 30th Annual Day of Mourning is observed throughout the world.
Photos from 2014 Day of Mourning events.