On International Workers Memorial Day – April 28th – we commemorate all those workers who have died in the workplace. In 2019, 46 people were killed in workplace accidents in Ireland while many more suffered life-changing injuries.
As Workers’ Memorial Day 2020 arrives, we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic that is having profound effects. The COVID-19 outbreak has shown us how vulnerable we are to an epidemic, and how devastating the effects can be: on life, on society, on our economy.
This crisis has demonstrated, as never before, the importance of protecting the safety, health and welfare of all people, whether at home or in the workplace.
It has also shown the importance of investing in good public health care, investing in good conditions for health care workers and other frontline workers, and the need to ensure good sick pay and other provisions to protect the wages and jobs of all.
For International Workers Memorial Day – 28 April – we commemorate all those who died from Covid-19. We remember health care workers and all other workers who died through exposure at work. No one should die from work!
Congress is asking all trade unions and trades councils to use Workers' Memorial Day 2020 to remember all those who have already lost their lives to this pandemic, and to acknowledge and applaud all those workers who continue the fight to protect us, even as they put their own health at risk. We invite employers, voluntary organisations, county councils, sporting organisations and community groups to join us in supporting a social media campaign to mark this commemoration.
Covid-19 is a global pandemic. On this International Workers Memorial Day we also join with colleagues around the world in remembering those who have died. See this statement from European Trade Union Confederation and member federations to which we have subscribed.
An important part of our activities on Workers' Memorial Day 2020 was a wreath-laying ceremony at the Starry Plough memorial in the garden of Árus an Uachtaráin.
The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, laid a wreath in a solemn ceremony, accompanied by 5 workers from INMO, SIPTU, Mandate, Forsa and CWU representing key front-line workers.
You can view a short edited version of the ceremony below: