A ceremony to commemorate the lives of workers who have been injured or killed on the job is once again taking place in New Westminster.
Community members are invited to attend the annual Day of Mourning ceremony on Sunday, April 28 at 11 a.m. at Westminster Pier Park.
Owen Goodwin, a member of the New Westminster and District Labour Council, said the purpose of the Day of Mourning is to remember those who have been injured or killed on the job, but it’s also to rededicate efforts to prevent further injuries through education. The theme of this year’s Day of Mourning is: One is Too Many - no one should die on the job.
“The labour movement’s focus this year is clear and direct – workplace deaths are fundamentally preventable. Yet, workers continue to be injured and killed on the job,” Goodwin said. “It must stop.”
The City of New Westminster has proclaimed April 28 as the Day of Mourning.
“In 2017, 158 workers in British Columbia died from work-related injury or illness,” Goodwin recently told council. “There were 152,902 injuries reported. By working together, we can ensure all workers stay safe and our communities are healthy and strong.”
The ceremony takes place in Pier Park near the W, which is a former industrial site where four workers died in a workplace accident in a barge on Jan. 10, 2003.
“Every year, it’s always jarring to hear about the number of individuals who are injured or killed,” said Mayor Jonathan Cote. “Even locally here, we have had tragic stories where workers have not returned home after their shift at work.”