28th April 2017
Wolverhampton Workers' Memorial Day
Roger Lawrence Wolverhampton Council Leader - praised joint work between UNISON the Trades Union Council and Labour Council to bring about the introduction of the Dying to Work Charter and employment protection for terminally ill employees of the council.
Jackie Marshall Prison Officers Association NEC - cuts in officer numbers = increase in attacks on prison officers
Rob Marris MP Wolverhampton South West
Nick Kelleher Secretary Wolverhampton TUC
John Welsby a chaplain on West Midlands Buses from Black Country Urban Industrial Mission Chaplain
+ wreath laying ceremony
The TUC's theme was Good health and safety for all workers whoever they are and will focus on inequalities in occupational health and the role unions play in narrowing the inequalities gap;
hidden and new "gig economies", the risks faced by migrant workers and the issues of gender and class.
TUC page for 2017 International Workers' Memorial Day can be accessed at https://www.tuc.org.uk/wmd2017
Thursday 28th April 2016 12.30pm at the Workers' Memorial Day Tree, Cenotaph, St Peters Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1TS
More than 60 people were in attendance and wreaths were laid by WB&DTUC, UCATT West Midlands, UCATT Wolverhampton, UNISON Wolverhampton General, UNISON University, Mayor & Mayoress of Wolverhampton and Thompsons Solicitors
In 2016, Stuart Baker UCATT, Warinder Juss, Thompsons solicitors (GMB) and Rev Bill Mash BCUIM (UNITE)
Nick Kelleher WB&DTUC (UNISON) also spoke on the TUC's Dying to Work Campaign
Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living
The purpose behind the day has always been to "remember the dead: fight for the living" and unions are asked to focus on both areas, by considering events or memorial to remember all those killed through work but at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.
That can best be done by building trade union organisation, and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health & safety laws.
Wreaths laid by Mayor & Mayoress, UNISON, UNITE, CWU, FBU, PCS, UCATT and Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council
The Civic Centre flags flown at half mast in respect.
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, said:
“Workers Memorial Day is an important date in the calendar. It is a day for reflection. A day to reflect on the loss of loved ones who went to work and never returned home. And a day to reflect that thousands more who will lose their lives in 2016 as a result of simply doing their job. We will remember the dead and fight for the living.”
Heath & Safety Executive estimates 13,000 deaths each year from work-related lung disease and cancer are estimated to be attributed to past exposure, primarily to chemicals and dust at work.
Mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer caused by asbestos, is causing over 5,000 deaths each year. These asbestos-related deaths now kill ten times more they they did 40 years ago and numbers of deaths are expected to keep rising until past 2020.
Heath & Safety Executive estimate 2 million people in Britain are currently unwell due to their work.
20% decrease in legal procedings in the West Midlands in the last year. Prosecutions by local authorities has decreased over the last 5 years as they have been affected by government budget cuts.
27 million days were lost due to work-related ill health or injury sustained in the last year. The cost to the West Midlands economy was over £1.1billion.
This year the theme for the day is:
- Strong laws
- Strong enforcement
- Strong unions
Nick Kelleher, Secretary Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council said:
“Across the world we are seeing growing attacks on health and safety protection, including in Britain where the Government has removed protection from millions of self-employed workers, and across Europe where the European Commission are pursuing a dangerous de-regulatory strategy.
However strong laws are not enough if they are not going to be enforced. That is why we need proper inspections and enforcement action against those who break the laws.
Here in the UK the number of inspections has fallen dramatically in the past five years; however in many other countries enforcement has always been non-existent.
That is why we also need strong unions. Unionised workplaces are safer, yet the Government’s Trade Union Bill is trying to stop unions protecting the health and safety of their members by restricting the right of health and safety representatives to take time off to keep the workplace safer, and also trying to reduce our right to strike when things go wrong.
The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to remember the dead, fight for the living and unions will be holding events across the Midlands to remember all those killed through work and to campaign to improve safety in the workplace today.”
All Midlands Workers Memorial Day events on 28 April:
There will be a commemoration in the City Centre at 12.30 at St Philip’s Cathedral grounds, Colmore Row, B3 2QB
Please assemble at 12.30 at Brueton Gardens, Solihull, B91 3EN
There will be an event in Town Hall Square. Please meet at 12.30. In additional to the usual floral tributes and purple ribbons there will be a release of helium balloon in black/purple to commemorate workers killed in the East Midlands over the past year.
There will be a memorial event at 12.30 at the Cenotaph, Lich Gates, WV1 1TS
The annual IWMD event will take place at 12 noon, Bayley Lane, Coventry, CV1 5RN
There is a commemoration at 12 noon at Coronation Gardens
There will be an event at St John the Baptist Church, High Street, Halesowen B63 4AF where a wreath will be laid and hopefully black balloons will be released to represent all the workers killed or injured do to their workplace. Meet outside the church at 11:30.
The annual Worker’s Memorial Day Service will commence at 12.30pm at St Peter’s Church, St Peter's Square, Nottingham NG1 2NW
Meet at 12 noon, by St Matthew’s at the Memorial Stone & tree, Market WS1 3DG.
A workers memorial service will be held at- St Peter’s church, Derby City centre (opposite BHS) at 10:30 until 11:30.
Congregate at 12 noon at 44 Patchwork Row, Shirebrook NG20 8AL and then march to the Market Square to mark Workers Memorial Day. Banners are welcome.
Meet at 11:30 for a 12:00 service at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, DE13 7AR (by the memorial tree and plaque) followed by a social event at Burton Caribbean Association, Uxbridge Street from 13:00
Wolverhampton Workers' Memorial day 2016 event listings:
55 attended our 24th annual commemoration in association with the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission on Tuesday 28th April 2015
Report by Express & Star here.....
In 2015 the theme for the day was "removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace".
Hazardous substances are found in almost every workplace in the UK and many workers have no protection against the possible effects, despite the fact that tens of thousands of workers have their health destroyed by asthma, dermatitis, lung disorders and cancers because of exposures. In addition to hazardous substances, many unions and trades councils will be campaigning on the general theme of demanding better regulation, greater inspections and an end to the anti-health and safety rhetoric from the government and their allies in the press.
Angela Eagle MP, Chair of Labour National Policy Forum and a member of the Labour NEC
Sean Lee Midlands Secretary UCATT, the union for workers in the construction sector
Rob Marris UNITE & LP general election candidate Wolverhampton South West
Rev. Bill Mash, Diocesan Officer for Mission in the Economy, Black Country Urban Industrial Mission
Marie Taylor, UNITE & President WB&DTUC
& wreath laying ceremony
Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.
The purpose behind Workers' Memorial Day has always been to "remember the dead: fight for the living" and unions will be holding events across the Midlands to remember all those killed through work and to campaign to improve safety in the workplace today.
Over 20,000 people die every year because of their work, with most of these deaths being related to exposure to dangerous substances. This year the theme for workers memorial day is "removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace". Hazardous substances are found in almost every workplace in the UK and many workers have no protection against the possible effects, despite the fact that tens of thousands of workers have their health destroyed by asthma, dermatitis, lung disorders and cancers because of exposures.
In addition, campaigners will be campaigning on the general theme of better regulation, greater inspections and an end to the anti-health and safety rhetoric.
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, said:
“Workers Memorial Day is an important date in the calendar. It is a day for reflection. A day to reflect on the loss of loved ones who went to work and never returned home. And a day to reflect that thousands more who will lose their lives in 2015 as a result of simply doing their job.
The Midlands TUC will mark Workers Memorial Day by holding a Health and Safety Conference to examine the challenges that workers face today and will be joining the commemoration at St Philip’s Cathedral.
We will remember the dead and fight for the living.”
WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY 2015 events in the Midlands:
Birmingham 12.30 p.m. Grounds of St Philip's Cathedral, Colmore Row, B3 2QB
Birmingham: 10:00–15:30. Health and Safety Conference at Transport House, 211 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1AY. During lunch, delegates will join the event in the grounds of St. Phillip’s Cathedral
Derby: Meet at 10:30am at St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Street, Derby for a service of prayer, thanksgiving and commemoration
Leicester: 12 Noon. Meet at Leicester Town Hall Square. The event will start with 1 minutes silence in respect of all those who have lost their lives due to work. Speakers will include representatives from UCATT, UNITE, the Lord Mayor and politicians Jon Ashworth and Keith Vaz.
Lincoln: Meet by the steps near City Square in the city centre. This year's rally will take place by the WMD tree from 12noon
Solihull, Meet at 12.30 p.m. Brueton Gardens (opposite Barley Mow pub)
Wolverhampton: 12.30pm. Meet at the Cenotaph, St Peter's Square Wolverhampton WV1 1TS. Speakers & Wreath Laying Ceremony
Wolverhampton TUC's 24th annual event Tuesday 28th April 12.30pm Cenotaph, St Peter's Sq Wolverhampton WV1 1TS
Walsall Tuesday 28th April
Corby: Saturday 25th April, 11.00am, Steel Worker Statue, Outside of The Cube, Corby
MIDLANDS TUC HEALTH & SAFETY CONFERENCE
28TH APRIL 2015 REMEMBER THE DEAD, FIGHT LIKE HELL FOR THE LIVING
The Midlands TUC, in association with Derbyshire Asbestos Support Group, Thompsons Solicitors and Asbestos Support West Midlands, will be holding a Health & Safety conference in Birmingham. The details of which are;
TUC Midlands Health & Safety Conference
10am, Tuesday 28th April 2015
Unite the Union, Transport House, Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DE
Guest Speaker: Steve Murphy, General Secretary of UCATT
The conference will lead discussions on;
- Workers’ Memorial Day – Raising Awareness
- Changes to H&S Legislation – Thompsons Solicitors
- Asbestos Victims Support Group – Doug Jewell
- Health & Safety and the Industrial Agenda – Yvonne Washbourne
- Stress Busting, Tackling Workplace Stress – Mick Brightman, Unionlearn
A lunch will be provided and during our lunch break delegates will be asked to make their way to the Workers’ Memorial Event in the Grounds of St. Phillip’s Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham, with Steve Murphy for the short service and Steve’s address to the event.
This is the first of what will become an annual event by the Midlands TUC and we do hope that you will be able to join us.
Monday 28th April 2014 @12.30pm at the Cenotaph, St Peter's Square Wolverhampton WV1 1TS
60 people came to Wolverhampton 23rd annual Workers' Memorial Day
Stuart Baker UCATT,
Satinder Bains Irwin Mitchell solicitors,
Rob Marris LP prospective parliamentary candidate W’ton SW,
Rev. Bill Mash, Industrial Chaplain,
Nick Kelleher, Secretary WB&DTUC & wreath laying ceremony
TOXIC, CORROSIVE AND HAZARDOUS - THE GOVERNMENT’S RECORD ON HEALTH AND SAFETY - TUC report http://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/Government%20record%202014.pdf
Wolverhampton' 23rd annual Workers' Memorial Day 28 April 2014
Work – its existence or absence, helps define a person.
If we're lucky, it brings in enough to pay the bills. If we're really lucky we have work which we enjoy.
Work also helps make a place. Our industrial past has shaped this town. And all the people who work in Wolverhampton make it the town we're proud of now whether we're council or health workers, factory workers or teachers, builders, posties, carers or fire-fighters.
It's tragic then, when work brings about the end of life; when it contributes to the breakdown of families & fracturing of communities. But it should never be an expected part of working life.
Sadly, Wolverhampton has seen its fair share of such tragedy – from the days of our industrial past to more recent workplace accidents.
Last year, the government said 148 Britons died in their workplace; 14 in the West Midlands and three from Wolverhampton: [reference 1]
Trevor Bagshaw, 68, a self employed industrial machinery installer fell from height and died
William Price, 63, a self employed car mechanic died following a fire
Mohammed Yasin, 37, a waste management employee was trapped by machinery and died
But it's estimated that another 79 people died early in Wolverhampton from job-related injuries and illnesses last year. [reference 2]
That's 82 local families missing more than just a breadwinner – missing their father or son, mother or daughter. Local communities bear the knock on effects – the grief, mental health problems, and financial & social pressures.
Over a million working people in Britain are currently suffering from a workplace illness.
More people die at work every year around the world than in wars.
That's why we all have a responsibility to show H&S as more than just a nice add-on to everyday business, or a bureaucratic tick list to be checked.
We must ALL take responsibility for ourselves and those around us, for making sure we look after one another and don't make work a risky business.
We can achieve this when we are organised in the workplace, when we join together in trade unions to campaign for safer working conditions.
Trade Unions have a long, proud history of not only helping their members when tragedy and hardship strike, but also of using our collective voice to ensure that these awful accidents never happen in the first place.
The ConDem government however, is happy to put profit before people.
Due to government cuts, the H&S Executive can only prosecute 1 in a thousand breaches of H&S law. [reference3]. Council cuts will cut inspections and prosecutions.
They believe our H&S laws are red tape. Better red tape than red bandages.
So today we join with others holding commemorations in Walsall, Dudley, Stoke, Birmingham & around the world to remember those who have been killed, made ill, or injured by their own or someone else's work.
And we renew our commitment to demanding safe and healthy work for all.
Let us remember the dead and fight for the living.
– Nick Kelleher [reference 4]
Reference 2- 2011 Census: Wolverhampton & United Kingdom Population Estimates http://wolverhamptoncityboard.org.uk/newsdetail.php?id=50 and http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/population-and-household-estimates-for-the-united-kingdom/stb-2011-census--population-estimates-for-the-united-kingdom.html
Wolverhampton population (249,500) / UK population (63.2million) x 20,000 deaths = 79 estimated premature deaths in Wolverhampton due to work.
Reference 3 - Lords Hansard 14 Jan 2013 Column GC160 Baroness Donaghy http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/130114-gc0001.htm
Reference 4 -article has been heavily quoted from a 2013 WMDay speech by Dan Jarvis MP for Barnsley http://www.danjarvismp.co.uk/news/speeches-articles/dans-speech-on-workers-memorial-day-2013-in-barnsley
Workers and families of people killed and injured by work love red tape because it’s far better than the alternative which is even more bloody bandages and workers made sick often to death. We all know no-one died of too much regulation and enforcement but from far too little. Their pointless red tape is our lifeline and especially for young people who are at more risk.
IWMD is a day to utterly reject the government’s business-led destruction of health and safety regulation and enforcement based on the lie that it is a ‘burden on business’, useless red tape strangling business. David Cameron has called health and safety an albatross and a millstone round the neck of business, and made it his New Year resolution to kill off health and safety culture. Despite all the evidence that there is no such burden on business but a massive burden on the individuals hurt and their families, and on the public purse, this government has used rigged reviews to support their slashing of health and safety regulation and enforcement by cutting the HSE’s budget and role, number of inspectors and inspections, cut regulations and rubbished the system that protects workers from safety and health risks at every opportunity.
Our health and our safety is under attack like never before. All that we have now in terms of safer and healthier working condition was hard won by the collective action of generations of workers and their trade unions over the last 50 to 150 years, is under threat, and standards are being driven backwards. Work is now more intense, harder, longer, and with a ruined safety net. We are in a fight for our lives and we must defend health and safety for our own sake and that of our children and grandchildren who will have to work until they are 67 and beyond before they can retire.
In 2014, after nearly 4 years of economic recession and specific government attacks on health and safety workers and the public are at much greater risk of being hurt by work than ever before. But because of cuts in scrutiny and reporting of injuries, diseases and incidents, we are even less likely to know or hear about it in the press/media. So use IWMD to get our message out: we need health and safety red tape and unions to protect us!
“We Love Red Tape – it’s better than bloody bandages”
WORKERS' MEMORIAL DAY events in the Midlands:
Wolverhampton TUC's 23nd annual event
Monday 28th April 12.30pm Cenotaph, St Peter's Sq Wolverhampton WV1 1TS
Birmingham -12.30pm - St Philips Cathedral Grounds Colmore Row B3 2QB
Solihull - 12.30pm Brueton Gardens B91 3DL (opp Barley Mow Pub)
TUC guide on the importance of H&S reps
International Workers' Memorial Day originated in Canada. 28 April was chosen for International Workers Memorial Day as it is the anniversary of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the USA and also commemorates the day that 28 people were killed in a construction incident in Connecticut.
Since 1989 trade unions in the USA, UK, Asia, Europe and Africa have organised events on and around 28 April.
IWMD was adopted by Wolverhampton TUC in 1991, by the Scottish TUC in 1993, followed by the TUC in 1999 and UK government in 2010
The Labour council lowers the Civic flags to half mast, something the Tory/Liberal coalition failed to do when in charge of the council.
Click HERE for details of other events in Britain and background to Workers' Memorial Day from the TUC.
What's Workers Memorial Day?
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 takes place every April 28th - as an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.
The slogan for the day is: "Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living"
The trade union movement "remembers the dead", by organising memorial events all over Britain. It is supported by both the TUC and the government's Health & Safety Commission. Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council and the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission have held events since 1992.
We must also "fight for the living" by ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated:
- highlight the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and ill health.
- promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety.
It is a FACT that you are less likely to get injured or killed in a workplace covered by one of Britain's 200,000 trade union H&S reps.
Greater Manchester Hazards has produced a number of resources see them here
For Background to Workers Memorial Day: http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WMD-Background-leaflet-20141.pdf
For Safety Reps Guide to Workers Memorial Day: http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Safety-Reps-Guide-WMD-2014.pdf
For We Love Red Tape leaflet summarizing government attacks, lies and the truth: http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/updated-WDVtDaW-Leaflet-NOVEMBEER-+-Red-tape-cover2013.pdf
Many relevant Hazards Magazine articles can be found on http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/
See especially: “It’s your choice Red Tape or more bloody bandages”: http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/citizensane
‘Business says deregulate: The government will obey!’: http://www.hazards.org/votetodie/deregulate.htm
Order Form for Ribbons: Purple Forget-me-knot ribbons £30 per hundred inc. p&p: http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/WMD-Order-Form-2014.doc
Order Form for ‘Union Workplaces are Safer Workplaces’ car sticker price £30 per hundred: http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/wmd-car-sticker-order-form.doc
Order Form for Stationery/lapel stickers for events or mailings: sheets of 12 labels 60p plus p&p http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/wmd-sticker-order-form-final.pdf
Order Form for ‘We didn’t vote to die at Work’ and ‘Stop it You’re Killing Us’ T-shirts http://www.gmhazards.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/T-shirt-order-form.pdf sizes s,m,l,.xl,xxl,xxxl and limited number of children’s sizes. Great for those organising and speaking at events, staffing stalls, stewarding marches.
We still have some stocks of ‘We didn’t vote to die at Work’ and ‘Job Killer’ see images at http://www.hazards.org/wmd/images.htm#hazards
Globally every year more people are killed at work than in wars – a minimum of 2.3 million worldwide the International Labour Organisation estimates.
In the UK the Hazards Campaign estimates that in 2012/13 over 1,400 are killed in work-related incidents and up to 50,000 died from work-related diseases (cancers 18,000 [12% of total], heart disease 20,000 [20% of total], lung and other diseases 12.000 [15-20% of total] ).
Hazards Estimates: 140 people a day or 6 per hour are killed by work in Great Britain per year compare this with: 532 murders last year and 620 British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over 11 years.
Over a dozen trades union councils organised Workers Memorial day events in the Midlands 2013.
Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living
21st annual commemeration held Saturday 28th April 2012
Over 40 attended. Speakers: Nick Kelleher Secretary WB&DTUC, Steve Witton Secretary Wolverhampton UCATT, Emma Reynolds Labour MP Wolverhampton NE and Rev Bill Marsh, BCUIM
2012 national leaflet
Local 2012 Workers' Memorial Day events:
Friday 27th April
@12noon Dudley TUC: Coronation Gardens, Priory Road, DY1 1HF
@ 12.30pm Solihull, Brueton Gardens, by Barley Mow
Saturday 28th April @ 12 noon
Coventry TUC: Peace Garden, Bayley Lane CV1 5RJ
Walsall TUC: o/s St.Matthew’s church, market WS1 3DG
Saturday 28th April @ 12.30pm
Birmingham TUC: St Philip’s Churchyard, Colmore Row B3 2QB
Wolverhampton TUC: St Peter’s Sq WV1 1TS
2011 - between 50 and 60 attended the 20th annual commemoration.
Nick Kelleher, Secretary of Wolverhampton & Bilston Trades Union Council spoke. Vera Kelsey of CWU read a poem Empty Shoes on behalf of the Womens' TUC. Wreaths laid by WB&DTUC, CWU, UNISON General, UNISON University, PCS and UNITE. Readings by Industrial Chaplain Rev. Peter Sellick and Roberta Maxfield of the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission.Purple Workers' Memorial Day ribbons were given out to 75 people attending the 28th April event in 2010, Wolverhampton's 19th annual event. CLICK HERE for the 2010 flyer.
60 people attended with more passers by also stopping.
Þ Doug Jewell Asbestos Support Group West Midlands
Þ Industrial Chaplain, Rev. Ruth Reynolds-Tyson
Þ wreath laying ceremony
Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living Click here for our leaflet
In Britain 233 workers were killed in their workplace; 22(revised figures) were from the West Midlands. Shoes representing the dead were laid out.
2,056 people died from mesothelioma (cancer due to asbestos), thousands more from occupational cancers and lung diseases, or while commuting.
Asbestos Support West Midlands
Help people suffering from asbestos related diseases and campaigns to end the asbestos trade.
0121 678 8853 www.asbestossupportwm.org