April 28 is the International Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. It’s an important date, not just for CUPE members, but for all workers. While it’s true that CUPE’s National Health and Safety Committee first proposed the idea to honour workers killed and injured with a commemorative date, in the years since it has become an international event, marked by workers, governments and other organizations the world over.
Since the last Day of Mourning, five CUPE members have lost their lives at work.
Sylvain Ferland, 49, was killed in an accident while driving a bus in Montreal.
Normand Gauthier, 53, was killed during loading operations at the Port of Matane, Que.
Claude Picard, 48, was killed while working on a hydro pole in Saint-Félix-de-Valois, Que.
Hubert Fortin, 67, was killed when he was struck by a roller-coaster at La Ronde, a Montreal amusement park where he was working.
Tara Lynn Veri, 38, was killed when her car was hit by a cement truck. She was from Simcoe, Ont.
This year CUPE honours these workers, and the countless others who’ve lost their lives or been injured at work, in special ceremonies across the country.
For more information
CUPE recently published a double issue of our health and safety publication, The Canary, covering news and resources available across the country.
CUPE also launched a new English radio ad this week to help raise awareness about the day and about the tools CUPE offers to make your workplace safer. In Quebec, the Quebec Federation of Labour construction component (FTQ Construction) will also broadcast a French radio ad leading to the International Day of Mourning.