At the 1984 Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress, a resolution was adopted declaring April 28th as a National Day of Mourning to honour those workers in Canada who have been killed, injured or disabled on the job, or who suffer from occupational diseases. April 28th was chosen because on that day in 1914, Ontario proclaimed the first comprehensive Workers Compensation Act in Canada. The Canadian labour movement lobbied for legislation to identify April 28th as a “National Day of Mourning.” Their efforts were rewarded in February 1991, when the Federal Parliament passed the Workers Mourning Day Act (Bill C-223).
It is the aim of OSSTF/FEESO that the annual observance of this day will help strengthen the resolve to establish safe and healthy conditions in the workplace and prevent further injuries and deaths. As much as this is a day to remember those who have passed, it is also a day to renew the commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths.
Every day we should educate others about health and safety rights, insist on effective workplace prevention programs, and demand that we receive hands-on training by the employer that supports the identification, assessment and control of workplace hazards.
On April 28, attend a Day of Mourning event in your community; ensure that flags are lowered to half-mast; and above all, take a moment at 11:00 a.m. to remember those who have been injured on the job and those who have lost their lives.