Worker’s Memorial Day is always a poignant moment each year. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those workers who’ve lost their lives in the workplace. It’s a chance to pay tribute to the incredible campaigning efforts of our trade union and labour movement. And it’s a chance to recommit ourselves to the fight for a better, safer world of work.
Traditionally at these events, we think of the heavy industries that were such an integral part of our town’s proud heritage. The miner and the glass-blower who stand side-by-side on our town’s coat of arms. We reflect on those workers of generations past who lost their lives at work – such as the infamous 1866 Oaks Disaster, the worst mining disaster in history.
But this year there is a new poignance to our reflections, as we remember those incredible key workers – the doctors, nurses, NHS staff, emergency service personnel, transport workers and so many more – who have given their lives throughout the pandemic to keep others safe. It is their sacrifice that we remember today. It is their example that inspires us – as a labour movement – to keep on fighting. It is in their memory that we will organise to build a safer working world.