The IAFF will be joining the rest of the labor movement today for Workers’ Memorial Day in the United States and the National Day of Mourning in Canada, commemorating union workers who have died in the line of duty.
“From working to eliminate PFAS in turnout gear and consumer products to making sure our members have adequate PPE, worker health and safety is a top priority for this International,” says General President Edward Kelly. “It’s our mission to do everything we can to ensure our members come home to their families. The IAFF takes that mission very seriously. Fire fighter safety is the reason this union was founded over one hundred years ago. The protection of our brothers and sisters remains our clarion call.”
“Protecting the health and safety of our members is at the heart of everything the IAFF does,” says General Secretary-Treasurer Frank Líma. “It’s the reason that we are at city and town halls, state and provincial capitals, and on Capitol Hill and Parliament Hill lobbying for the passage of worker safety legislation and pushing for safety code improvements.”
Organized by the AFL-CIO in the U.S., this year’s theme for Workers’ Memorial Day is “Organize! Safe Jobs Now.” It urges a renewed effort for union members to work together to defend the right of every worker to a safe job.
Today also marks the anniversary of the 1970 passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which calls on employers to provide safe working environments devoid of toxic chemicals, excessive noise, unsafe temperatures and unsanitary conditions. Since then, the IAFF and other unions continue to fight for stronger laws to protect worker safety.
We also recognize the Canadian Day of Mourning. In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) set aside this day to recognize the ongoing need to take a proactive approach in preventing workplace deaths, illnesses and injuries.
Per tradition, the Canadian flag will be flown at half-mast on Parliament Hill and on all federal government buildings in observance.