Stephanie Smith: Day of Mourning 2016


UPDATE: Day of Mourning photos

Many of you will be attending Day of Mourning events on April 28 in different communities around our province. Some of you will be there to honour and remember your co-workers and family members or to show solidarity and empathy for those who have been affected by the death or injury of a worker. The provincial government will be lowering flags on all provincial government buildings to acknowledge this day.

Sadly, the number of fatalities in our province in 2015 did not decrease.  According to the BC Federation of Labour, the fatalities that occurred in 2015 and were reported by February 2016 are as follows:

  • Motor vehicle accident: ​​​23 deaths
  • Other injury: ​​​​54 deaths
  • Asbestos exposure​​​: 60 deaths
  • Other disease: 45 deaths

The total is a shocking 182 fatalities for 2015. Experience tells us that every one of these deaths could have been prevented. 

There is much work to be done to improve regulatory requirements and enforcement to ensure safe and healthy worksites. The BCGEU, together with the BC Federation of Labour and other unions, continues to lobby government and the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) to increase prevention activities, to write more orders, levy more penalties and to launch more criminal prosecutions against negligent employers.  

Every year the BCGEU and labour councils organize activities in workplaces and communities to commemorate April 28. We encourage you to attend a Day of Mourning event in your community. We also ask you to take a moment on April 28 to remember workers who have lost their lives or have been injured on the job.

​This year the BC Federation of Labour and WorkSafeBC have created a Day of Mourning website.  You will be able to find links and a schedule to this year's events. The website also has a commemorative wall to honour fallen workers. If you are interested in attending an event in your community please visit www.DayofMourning.bc.ca

 
Stephanie Smith

President, BCGEU

Click here to download the BCGEU’s Day of Mourning poster for 2016.