What of International Workers Memorial Day in 2020?

ILO’s World Day on Safety and Health at Work occurs each year on April 28. Events are centred around monuments and places in capital cities and towns, speeches about the importance of occupational health and safety (OHS) are made and symbolic gestures are given. The World Day is intended to be an acknowledgement of the …

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Gerry Ayers on International Workers Memorial Day

On the evening of 28 April 2016, (Australian time), Professor Mike Behm of North Carolina, Ciaran McAleenan in Ireland and others coordinated an online discussion about the importance of International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD).  Dr Gerry Ayers was scheduled to participate but was beaten by technical problems.  However he shared his thoughts about the memorial and … Continue reading “Gerry Ayers on International Workers Memorial Day”

Deaths of Health Care workers from COVID19

The theme for most commemorations on April 28 is the COVID19 pandemic. This is understandable as the pandemic has disrupted lives and economies globally and many people have died. Perhaps the most tragic of these deaths are those of medical and healthcare staff who have contracted the infection through their work. The largest public outrage …

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OHS is largely overlooked even on its special day

The mainstream media did cover the Australian Labor Party’s statement about workplace safety and industrial manslaughter laws. These issues also featured, unsurprisingly, in some of the commemorations on International Workers Memorial Day. But the issue was largely left floating, irretrievable in the political swimming pool. David Martin-Guzman, writing for the Australian Financial Review (AFR), painted …

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Melbourne’s Worker Memorial ceremony

The Melbourne ceremony for International Workers Memorial Day was held on 27 April 2018 and had a good turnout.  The standout “speaker” was Lana Cormie (pictured right), whose husband, Charlie Howkins in a trench collapse in March 2018, a work colleague died later in hospital from injuries from the incident. Victorian Trades Hall’s Luke Hilakari was …

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What do we want from a workers’ memorial?

When anyone dies, it is important to remember them and their relatives as well as those we did not know personally but who also grieve.  Public recognition of deceased workers is a recent phenomenon, even though we have commemorated and noted industrial disasters for over a century.  Memorials have always provided a symbolic focus for our …

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Dignity and solemnity at Workers’ Memorial Day

The Victorian commemoration of International Workers Memorial Day has held on28 April 2015 and was a major improvement on previous memorials.  The politics was muted by the speakers.  There was no tray truck of angry unionists yelling through tannoys and heading off half way through the event to a protest rally that they see as … Continue reading “Dignity and solemnity at Workers’ Memorial Day”