Candlelight Vigils mark National Day of Mourning

April 29, 2013

A candlelight memorial Service was organized by the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) to honour the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. Similar services were held across Manitoba – in Brandon, Thompson, Dauphin and Snow Lake.

“When you hear a human toll of 39 dead and 31,018 injured, you think of earthquakes or natural disasters,” said MFL President Kevin Rebeck. “But that’s how many Manitobans didn’t make it home safely from work last year.”

At the memorial service, held at Manitoba Hydro Place, workplace health and safety activists lit candles for the workers killed and injured in 2012:
• 10 workers killed in acute incidents on the job;
• 29 workers who died from work-related illnesses, notably asbestos-related mesothelioma; and
• 31,018 injured workers, with the highest injury rates found in the construction, manufacturing, health care, farming and forestry sectors.

“Working families deserve to feel confident their loved ones will make it home safely from work every day,” said Rebeck. “Manitoba employers need to live up to their responsibility to ensure safe workplaces; government needs to do more to enforce workplace safety rules; and workers need more safety training and information about their safety rights.”

The Winnipeg service included remarks from Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, MFL President Kevin Rebeck, Brandon worker advocate Curt Martel, health and safety activist Wendy Ratushniak, and disability rights advocate Patrick Falconer.

April 28 was officially designated as the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job by the Parliament of Canada in 1990.

Watch the story at CTV Winnipeg

Read about the event at Global Winnipeg and CJOB News