Bristol International Workers Memorial Day April 28th 2021 – Report

IWMD 2021

Health and Safety is a fundamental workers’ right


IN MEMORY OF
BRIAN, RAY, MIKE + LUKE
FROM YOUR COLLEAGUES AT
GMB WESSEX BRANCH
FOREVER IN OUR THOUGHTS

Click on the first photo for the timeline

South West TUC Facebook page recording the event – SWTUC at Bristol IWMD 2021 includes a Zoom video of the Bristol and Plymouth events.

South West GMB Facebook page recording the event – GMB at Bristol IWMD 2021

South West Unite Facebook page recording the event – Unite at Bristol IWMD 2021

 

 

Unless explicitly stated otherwise any commercial advertisements appearing on this page aren’t endorsed or supported by Bristol Trades Union Council.

Bristol International Workers Memorial Day April 28th 2021

IWMD 2021
Health and Safety is a fundamental workers’ right
Assemble at Tony Benn House
Victoria Street, Bristol
Wed. 28th April 2021, 11:15
March to Castle Park for
wreath laying ceremony

Speaking

Chris Marsh (GMB Rep Wessex Water)
Suzy Cheeke (Vice-President Bristol TUC)
Stuart Davies (Legal Officer UNITE)
Shona Jemphrey
(UNISON member, Labour Candidate for Lawrence Hill and member of NCG of Momentum)

A leaflet advertising the march & wreath laying can be found here – Workers Memorial Day 2021

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) commemorates those workers.

We remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. We renew our efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government. We remember those we have lost. We fight in their memory.

In the South West during 2019/2020 13 workers lost their life’s due to industrial accidents.  It’s still fresh in our thoughts of those 4 workers killed in an explosion at the Avonmouth water treatment plant (December 2020).


The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed an occupational health crisis in workplaces worldwide. Workers are routinely denied even basic health and safety protections, including consultation with safety reps and safety committees on ‘Covid-safe’ policies and practices, free access to personal protective equipment and protection from victimisation for raising health and safety concerns. These same problems existed before the pandemic and resulted in millions of deaths each year from work-related injuries and diseases.

The pandemic demonstrates why health and safety must be a right for everyone who works. Illness anywhere threatens illness everywhere. Unions secured agreement at the International Labour Conference in 2019 that occupational health and safety should be recognised as an International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental right at work – the decent, universally accepted and binding rights protecting all workers, everywhere. The ILO Centenary Declaration accepts “safe and healthy working conditions are fundamental to decent work”.

On 28 April 2021, unions can send a message that health and safety protection at work must be recognised as a right for all. Whether it is Covid or occupational cancers, or workplace injuries and industrial diseases, every worker should have a right to a voice and a right to protection. No-one should have to die to make a living.

It’s still too early to know whether we will lawfully be able to attend the memorial events which usually take place on IWMD. Whatever happens trade union members will be taking part, respecting legal requirements, in this collective day of remembrance and solidarity.

Wherever you are at 12:00 on Wenesday 28th April 2021, take part in the minute’s silence. It will be a moment to pay tribute to the sacrifice made by so many workers during the pandemic, to remember those who’ve sadly lost their lives, and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great risk. The initiative is supported by the government, and reps may wish to request employers to mark it, by asking the workforce to cease work for one minute at 12:00. Help spread the word about the minute’s silence, by encouraging as many friends and colleagues as possible to take part, whether in their workplace or at home.

Other events will be organised by Bristol Trades Union Council, Bristol Unison, Bristol FBU and South West TUC. Add a comment here to tell us about your Bristol and South Glos. event.

Continue reading

Bristol International Workers Memorial Day 2020 – report

We didn’t march in 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the above pictures were from the Bristol International Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony back in 2018. In 2020 we held a virtual commemoration whether we were at work, in our homes or in an open space all keeping at a safe distance. We also joined in the National one minute’s silence when we paid tribute to the sacrifice made by so many workers during the pandemic, to remember those who’ve sadly lost their lives, and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great risk whether they work in the NHS, care homes, delivering food and essential supplies, keeping our food shops open, our buses and trains running and our post delivered.

It’s normal at Bristol IWMD ceremonies at Castle Park it’s normal to have a few speakers. We’ve asked some of Bristol’s trade unionists to pen a few words on what IWMD means to them.

 

Jim Whelan (Chair Unite Bristol Transport & Food branch (SW/001823)) wrote this –

“The last few weeks have shown how important health & safety reps and shop stewards are in their workplaces, fighting for better safety standards at a time when employers want to use the crisis to worsen them.Workers whose terms and conditions have been eroded over recent decades, and who have been forced in to insecure employment, are now recognised as frontline workers that society depends on. Those who were considered the bottom of the heap have been shown to be the people who can help us beat the virus.

Unfortunately in the parcel industry, we have suffered losses due to COVID-19, and the thoughts of all parcel workers are with their families and friends. We’ve also seen a massive increase in workload as a lot of shopping has moved online, leading to more residential parcel deliveries. At the same time, we health & safety reps have had to fight for PPE, and the introduction of social distancing.

At UPS we have involved all our members in making constructive proposals to improve health & safety in the current crisis, and despite management dragging their feet, we have now ensured all UPS workers in the UK have access to facemarks, gloves, and hand sanitiser, every driver is now able to wash their hands while out on the road, we have reached a national agreement that vans are disinfected every day, and the cleaning of buildings has been enhanced.

Workers organising together have won these gains. We can’t rely on governments and lawyers to make us safe, we must do it ourselves through our unions.

The health and safety of frontline workers (including my workmates) is top of the news agenda every day now, and Workers Memorial Day is our opportunity to show that organised workers can deliver this for themselves.

Click on any of the pictures below to start a slide show of the complete set.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise any commercial advertisements appearing on this page aren’t endorsed or supported by Bristol Trades Union Council.

Bristol International Workers Memorial Day 2020

Remember COVID-19 dead this
International Workers’ Memorial Day
April 28th 2020

Every year on April 28th, all around the world, the trade union movement unites to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day (#IWMD20). We remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. We renew our efforts to organise collectively to prevent more deaths, injuries and disease as a result of work.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government. We remember those we have lost. We fight in their memory.

During the current pandemic a heart-breaking number of workers have died from coronavirus; this is a tragedy felt deeply by us all. Too many of our friends and colleagues have fallen ill, lost their lives or continue to be put at risk at work every day. Many more will be grieving the loss of loved ones.

The coronavirus pandemic affects every worker regardless of sector or locality. Tens of thousands of workers worldwide have died. More have fallen ill or continue to go to work risking their lives. Many workers are still attending work ill-equipped and without necessary safety measures in place. We could not have a starker reminder of the important role of trade union health and safety reps in saving and protecting workers’ lives, than the current crisis we are living through.

While we may not be able to attend the memorial events which usually take place on IWMD, as public gatherings around the world are not advised or allowed, there are many ways trade union members can take part in our collective day of remembrance and solidarity.

IWMD 2020 Minutes SilenceWherever you are at 11am on Tuesday 28th April 2020, take part in the minute’s silence. It will be a moment to pay tribute to the sacrifice made by so many workers during the pandemic, to remember those who’ve sadly lost their lives, and to thank all those who continue to do vital work at great risk. The initiative is supported by the government, and reps may wish to request employers to mark it, by asking the workforce to cease work for one minute at 11am. Help spread the word about the minute’s silence, by encouraging as many friends and colleagues as possible to take part, whether in their workplace or at home.


The South West TUC are holding a Facebook live meeting at 10:30 on the 28th where they are going to try and link Zoom speakers to a Facebook Live session. It will end with the minute’s silence at 11:00. Details can be found on the South West TUC Facebook page.

As so many of us are working from home or not working at all, Bristol Trades Union Council is asking you to campaign collectively by posing in your workplace, home or open space with one of the posters that can be found on at the bottom of this page or you could pose with a poster containing your own message. Please get a family member to take a photograph and send to Bristol TUC and we’ll post all received photographs on our website.

Here’s a sample photo so you’ll get an idea of what we’re looking for. Note the scruffy bloke with his hair standing on end is our Communications officer, let’s hope he wears something smarter and combs his hair on the day!

BTUC Communications Officer

The suggested posters can be downloaded by selecting one or more of the links below

Remember The Dead
Fight For The Living
Support Our NHS Workers
Thanks Care Workers
Cheers Drive
Solidarity With Shop Workers
Solidarity With Transport Drivers
Thanks Postal Workers
Thanks
Write your own message

More events are listed in the comments section.

Unless explicitly stated otherwise any commercial advertisements appearing on this page aren’t endorsed or supported by Bristol Trades Union Council.

Bristol Workers Memorial Day 2019

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.

‘Taking control – removing dangerous substances from the workplace’ will be this year’s focus for what has become the world’s largest annual health and safety event. The union-led campaign will emphasise a ‘Zero Cancer’ approach, urging union members to seek to eliminate or minimise exposure to carcinogens in the workplace.

Workers memorial day logo

Workers’ Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their trade unions conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!
Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces

Bristol March and Rally
Sunday 28th April 2019, 12.00
Assemble at Tony Benn House, Victoria Street
March to Castle Park for Rally
12:00 March from Tony Benn House
12:30 Rally in Castle Park
Brendan Kelly (RMT Regional Organiser)
Jim Whelan (Unite – Road Transport Branch)
Kay Timbrell (Usdaw – H&S Representative)

A leaflet advertising the march & Rally can be found here – Leaflet Workers Memorial Day 2019

More information about International Workers Memorial Day and Health and Safety issues can be here Hazards Campaign.

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!
Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces

Trades Union Councils logo

The Bristol march and rally is organised by Bristol Trades Union Council

Bristol Workers Memorial Day 2018

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.Workers memorial day logo

Workers’ Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.

The day is also intended to serve as a rallying cry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”.

In 2018 the theme of Workers’ Memorial Day is Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces. We will also be celebrating 40 years of union health and safety representatives.

Bristol March and Rally
Saturday 28th April 2018, 12.00
Assemble at Tony Benn House, Victoria Street
March to Castle Park for Rally
12:00 March from Tony Benn House
12:30 Rally in Castle Park
Brendan Kelly (RMT Regional Organiser)
Sheila Caffrey (NEU-NUT)
Simon Crew (Bristol Trades Union Council)

A leaflet advertising the march & Rally can be found here – Leaflet Workers Memorial Day 2018

More information about International Workers Memorial Day and Health and Safety issues can be here Hazards Campaign.

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!
Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces

Trades Union Councils logo

The Bristol march and rally is organised by Bristol Trades Union Council

International Workers’ Memorial Day 2017 – Report

International Workers' Memorial Day 2017

Friday 28th April 2017, Castle Park, Bristol

International Workers' Memorial Day 2017 - Montage

A number of events were held in Bristol to commemorate those killed or injured during the course of their work.

The first event was organised by the local Bristol Hazards group who held an open meeting to highlight how the bosses, in collusion with the state, are continuing to blacklist union Health and Safety reps and other union activists who expose the bad practices implemented by the bosses especially those in construction. The example was given of CrossRail where workers work in an atmosphere of fear. One of the contributors argued that can only be solved by trade unionists taking on the bosses and exposing their sharp practises.

The main event was a march through the city to a wreath laying ceremony at Bristol’s commemorative plaque which remembers those killed whilst at work. The rally was addressed by Alex Kempshall (Bristol TUC), Steve Gibbs (Bristol Hazards Group), Lesley Mansell (Labour candidate for West of England Mayor) and Pete Hughes (Unite South West Regional Secretary).

Bristol TUC’s Alex Kempshall said: “In the hour it’s taken us to hold this march and rally, somewhere in the world 240 workers will have died from a work-related accident or disease, and over 34,000 will have had a work-related accident.”

He pointed out that in many cases it was profiteering that was the direct cause of workplace deaths and cited the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh as an example.

He also pointed out that 440,000 people in Britain had reported work-related stress at a level that has made them ill. Which was 40% of all work-related illnesses with each new case of stress leading to an average 31 days off work, which cost the economy a total of £105 billion a year.

He said that we as trade unionists understand that if workers have to work harder and faster that this increases stress and that this stress interferes with the creativity and problem solving skills required for a modern economy.

He argued that “Capitalism kills and the bosses are the culprits. But there’s a cure — organised resistance in our workplaces and communities, and at the political level. Stronger trade unions and united political struggles are needed.

In conclusion he called for all to ensure that Labour win the contest for the West of England Metro-Mayor and pointed out that we have a duty to ensure that the Tories are kicked out on June 8th.

The third event was organised by Bristol NUT to expose the stress suffered by teachers and students in Bristol’s schools. Local teachers handed out leaflets explaining that for those teachers that stress doesn’t kill it can turn them into exhausted and dispirited robots.

International Workers' Memorial Day 2017 - Teaching Robots!
This has come about because even though teachers are having to work 60 to 70 hours a week pupils are getting less teacher time because of larger classes with schools becoming nothing more than exam factories which stress pupils.

To demonstrate teachers as exhausted and dispirited robots the “Lick & Twiddle Theatre Co.” performed street theatre to shoppers and workers in Bristol’s main shopping area.

Stress the killer in our schools

International Workers' Memorial Day 2017

Stress The Killer In Our Schools

Friday 28th April 2017, 5.00pm
outside Primark, Broadmead.

To highlight how stress affects teachers, and pupils a
10 minute theatre piece will be performed, twice,
and the leaflet Stress The Killer In Our Schools will be
handed out to passers by.

 Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!

NUT logo
This event is organised by
Bristol National Union of Teachers

 

International Workers’ Memorial Day 2017

International Workers' Memorial Day 2017

Friday 28th April 2017, 1.00pm
Castle Park, Bristol

Assemble at
Tony Benn House, Victoria Street at 12.30 pm


Speakers
Peter Hughes, Unite
Lesley Mansell, Labour candidate for Metro Mayor
Steve Gibbs, Bristol Hazards Group
Andy Robertson, Bristol Trades Union Council

A leaflet advertising the event can be found here International Workers’ Memorial Day 2017 and more information about the campaign can be obtained from the Hazards Campaign.

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!

Trades Union Councils logo

The Bristol march and rally is organised by Bristol Trades Union Council

Bristol & District Hazards Group to mark International Workers Memorial Day

Behave Yourself!

6.30-8.30pm, Thursday 27th April 2017

CWU Offices, 20 Church Rd, Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS5 9JA

(Free event)

Join Bristol & District Hazards Group to mark International Workers Memorial Day

International Workers’ Memorial Day is an annual trade union commemoration of those that have lost their lives at or as a result of work. It is marked on 28th April each year and special events to remember the fallen take place around the world, including in Bristol. This year we are hosting a public meeting to reflect on the relationship between business, the state and the labour movement. We have guest speakers talking about the blacklisting of trade union safety reps and the threat to the labour movement from state surveillance and infiltration.

More information can be obtained from: bristolhazards@gmail.com

A flyer for the meeting can be downloaded from here Behave Yourselfs!

Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living!