Day of mourning in Labrador West

Fight for the living, Mourn for the dead


Published on May 5, 2017

Tributes to those killed, injured or who have become ill on the job.

©Mike Power

A large crowd gathered at the Labrador City union center on Friday April28th , to participate in the "National Day of Mourning."  

The solemn ceremony pays tribute to workers who were killed, injured or became ill on the job.

In his opening remarks, Fabian Benoit of the District Labour council (organizers of the event), told people "in our province from 2011 till 2015 there were 142 workers that died as a result of workplace injury or illness."

Benoit added that it's time for people to work together to change how things are done, to reduce these numbers.

Steelworkers International representative Euclide Hache spoke of the Westray disaster , which 26 miners were killed May 09th , 1992.

Following prayers, a wreath laying ceremony was held. Close to 60 wreaths were placed by family members or representatives of deceased workers, and various unions and organizations.

In closing remarks, Ron Thomas, President of local 5795 of the Steelworkers told participants “in 2016 13 work related fatalities were officially recorded, eight of them were due to occupational illness.”

He emphasized that enforcement of the laws that protect workers have to be a political priority.

“Laws work when they are enforced,” he added.

Those who gathered for the event were there agreed with the mantra of the day "Fight for the living, mourn for the dead.” The wreaths and tributes placed by the participants showed they fully support that idea.