28 April is International Workers’ Memorial Day, when trade unionists all over the world remember all those who have died because of their work – and renew our pledge to fight for the living.
In the year of coronavirus, this day of commemoration has never been more important. UNISON and other trade unions are asking the country to observe a minute’s silence at 11am, to remember all the health, care and other key workers who have already lost their lives to COVID-19.
Thousands of workers across the UK are caring for those suffering from COVID-19 or delivering vital public services that are vital for us all – potentially putting their own safety and even their own lives at risk.
The dedication of those working in the health and adult social care sectors has been recognised on a daily basis, but there are many members of our branch working in other settings such as children’s services, residential settings and schools, whose work and dedication often goes unacknowledged. In our branch, we are dealing with regular requests for advice from members who are concerned about risk of contracting the virus. The most common enquiries are about shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), and about being expected to work when they, or a partner, are vulnerable due to a health condition.
Please take a moment to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day, either by observing the minute’s silence or in some other way.