Tomorrow marks the National Day of Mourning for workers who have been killed, injured, or gotten sick on the job. Each year, approximately 1,000 Canadian workers, and more than 2.7 million workers around the world, die because of an injury or an exposure that happens at work.
This year, the Day of Mourning has the added significance of highlighting the human costs of COVID-19.
Across Saskatchewan, nearly 500 people have died from the COVID-19 virus, many of whom were exposed at work. As of April 26th, two-thirds of the current COVID-19 outbreaks in the province are classified as workplace outbreaks – and most of the remainder are in locations like schools and correctional centres, where workers are also at risk.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the fact that so many workers are unacceptably vulnerable – with few protections, low wages, and no paid sick leave to help them weather the storm of a worldwide crisis like this.
April 28th is a time to mourn, but it’s also a time to renew our fight to make sure that working people are safe on the job every single day.
This is why Canada’s unions are calling on all governments to immediately introduce or expand paid sick leave, to ensure workers aren’t required to put themselves and others at risk by going to work sick. It’s also why SGEU is working hard to keep our members safe: by lobbying for priority vaccine access for essential frontline workers, fighting for better PPE, advocating for members to work from home, and calling on the government to improve labour legislation and working conditions province-wide.
By working together, we can make a difference and ensure that at the end of each day, workers are able to go home to their families safely.
Tomorrow we mourn for the dead and keep on fighting for the living.
Acting President, SGEU
For more information contact:
Communications Officer, SGEU