CANADA’S BUILDING TRADES UNIONS MARK DAY OF MOURNING – URGE GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE SAFETY MEASURES IN WAKE OF COVID-19

Apr 24, 2020

On April 28, over half a million members of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU), will observe a moment of silence at 11:00 AM, honouring the memory of those killed or injured at work. In years past, we would gather at monuments or specific locations to observe the day together, including the Canadian Building Trades Monument, located in Major’s Hill Park in Ottawa, ON, put in place to commemorate the tragic losses workers have endured in carrying out their work. Fighting for stronger safety legislation, enforcement, and personal protective equipment has always been a cornerstone of the building trades and everything we do, to ensure all workers make it home at the end of the day.

“The Building Trades stand in solidarity with anyone affected by a workplace injury or death. I myself lost my father 29 years ago to a tragic workplace accident.  When I allow myself to reconstruct the events of his accident, my memory is just as vivid as it was that day. The hurt never leaves, no matter how much time passes, but is made bearable by the love of my family,” said Robert Kucheran, Chairman, Canada’s Building Trades Unions and International Vice President of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. “The National Day of Mourning is vitally important as it gives us all an opportunity to remember those we lost, like my father, and to strongly, and unequivocally reinforce our commitment to raise our collective voice for the health and safety of our workers today. This includes the courageous frontline workers still going to the job site – be it in a hospital, delivering goods, or on our many construction sites from coast to coast. Safety precautions need to be upheld and enforced so no one has to face the tragedy of their father, mother, sister or brother not returning from work.”

Brother Kucheran will be speaking at the annual Ottawa and District Labour Council ceremony, normally held at Vincent Massey Park, this year moved online as a virtual ceremony. The approximate 40-minute Zoom webinar ceremony commences at 12:30pm on April 28, 2020 and will feature speakers and a minute of silence for all those workers impacted as a result of the workplace.

The virtual ceremony is open to all and can be accessed through https://zoom.us/j/93891174077

“This year, April 28 comes at a time when Canada is facing an unprecedented time, and the need to protect the health and safety of frontline workers is paramount to stopping the spread of COVID-19. We urge you to donate any extra personal protective equipment to local hospitals. Practice and respect what the experts recommend around physical distancing. And take a moment, on April 28, to remember those we lost.”

-30-