Workers Memorial Day and National Day of Mourning on April 28 commemorate workers who have been injured, killed or suffer illness as a result of occupational accidents and hazards.
This year, the day takes on extra meaning as members join U.S. and Canadian workers to honor healthcare workers, grocery employees and the service staff who join them on the frontlines as they fight to keep citizens safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Workers Memorial Day on April 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by the U.S. Congress. The law promises every worker the right to a safe job. Since then, unions have continued to fight to add more laws protecting workers.
April 28 is also the Canadian Day of Mourning. In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) agreed to set aside this day to recognize the ongoing need to take a proactive approach in preventing workplace deaths, illnesses and injuries.
Normally, the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) would be encouraging union members to organize events emphasizing the enforcement and creation of safe workplace polices, but due to the virus, public events are not possible. Both organizations are encouraging non-traditional events with the use of virtual technology and other no-contact methods.