Day of Mourning: Labour vows to ‘fight for the living’ – by Connor Pringle (Sudbury Star – April 29, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Workers who were killed, injured or suffered illnesses from workplace conditions were mourned Tuesday during the 31st Annual Day of Mourning hosted by The Sudbury and District Labour Council and United Steel Workers Local 6500.

The Annual Day of Mourning recognizes workers killed, injured and who suffered illnesses while on the job.

“It’s a day to make a commitment to protect the living and to prevent future injuries and fatalities,” said Alain Arseneault, co-chair of maintenance/electrical for the Health, Safety and Environment Committee.

The day started 31 years ago, according to Arseneault, with April 28 chosen as that is the date the Ontario government proclaimed the first comprehensive Workers Compensation Act in Canada.

The Sudbury region was the first region to declare April 28 as the official Day of Mourning in Canada and across the world. The Steelworkers local says 44 deaths have occurred on company property since the first Day of Mourning.

“The Steelworkers are extremely proud of Sudbury and District Labour Council’s role in making this happen,” the union stated in a release.

“Thank you for what you do,” said Leo Gerard, USW International president.

The Sudbury and District Labour Council conducted a service in the Fraser Auditorium at Laurentian University in the morning, while USW followed up with a service at the Steelworkers’ Union Hall and Conference Centre on Brady Street in the afternoon.

“April 28 allows all Canadians and people throughout the world to pay respect to those working people who have died or suffered injuries and diseases on the job,” reads a Steelworkers statement. “While we mourn the dead, labour and all people must dedicate themselves to fight for the living and prevent this terrible and unnecessary toll.”

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