April 28 – Workers Day of Mourning

Remembering workers injured or killed on the job
Committing to keeping each other safe

April 28th is the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed and Injured on the Job. It is an important day to remember those who died because of their work and for many, it is a day of rededication to preventing future deaths, injuries, and illnesses from happening.

The idea of an annual day of remembrance for workers killed on the job got started, as best we know, in the northern Ontario community of Sudbury, itself a dangerous place to work. This turned into a national event and the annual Day of Mourning was fixed as April 28 to commemorate Third Reading in the Ontario legislature of the first comprehensive Workers’ Compensation Act in Canada in 1914.

Observances of the Day of Mourning have become very widespread in Canada. In 1987 a national monument to workers killed or injured on the job was placed in Vincent Massey Park, in Ottawa. At the University of Saskatchewan the flag is flown at half-mast.

Working people around the world take time on April 28 to remember lost co-workers, friends and family while renewing their commitment to safer workplaces under the slogan “fight for the living, mourn for the dead.”

The Day of Mourning serves the prime purpose for which it was instituted: to create safer workplaces so workers can end their working lives in dignity and health, not premature death, disease and disfigurement.

The Saskatoon and District Labour Council holds an annual ceremony on April 28 to honor workers killed or injured on the job. The ceremony this year takes place at 2:00 p.m., at Masonic Temple (1021 Saskatchewan Crescent West).

Plan to attend.