Day of Mourning has an enduring message

Although we can’t gather in person this year, the enduring message of Day of Mourning – “to mourn for the dead and fight for the living” – is ever more meaningful.

Millions of workers who have been deemed essential are risking their well-being every day.

Millions of people across the country go to their jobs hoping that others are taking all the right precautions.

Reading the story of the grocery store worker who was exposed to COVID-19 at his job and passed away at the age of 48 underscores the risk that many workers are undertaking to ensure that the essential services we all depend on continue during this pandemic.

Many healthcare workers are facing reports of a potential shortage of personal protective equipment. However, the history of giving and community support has generated huge donations of PPE from organizations as varied as unions, large companies, small employers and individuals.

The Day of Mourning is a great time to make sure that workers know their basic health and safety rights and that they are defended.

There are over 1,000 workers who lose their lives every year in this country and many more whose lives have been changed forever because of something that happened in the workplace. The best way to pay tribute to these workers is to do our best to protect others.

As workers, retirees, leaders, activists and allies we must continue to come together to make every workplace safe and healthy for everyone.

On this Day of Mourning and in the context of this global pandemic, we once again commit ourselves to mourn for the dead and fight for the living.

On behalf of the Grey Bruce Labour Council