Aberdeen marks poignant International Workers Memorial Day

Workers Memorial Day Left to Right: Mishelle Gray- UNITE union, Heather Collie- EIS union, Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett, Brenda Massie- UNISON union and Mike Middleton- GMB union

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THE LORD Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett, has represented Aberdeen City Council at commemoration events across the city organised jointly with Trade Unions to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD).

The Lord Provost laid a wreath alongside those of Union representatives at the Mound at Duthie Park yesterday morning to mark the annual event which remembers and pays tributes to workers who have died, been disabled, injured, or made unwell by their work and supports campaigns to promote improvements in workplace safety.

The theme for Workers’ Memorial Day this year is: Make safe and healthy work a fundamental right.

The Lord Provost and Union representatives laid wreaths at the Asbestos Memorial in Johnstone Gardens and at Persley Gardens where the Lord Provost also gave a reading after a two minute’s silence.

Council staff were invited to take part in a minute’s silence at 11am yesterday and Marischal College was lit purple to help raise awareness of the memorial and the aims of the day.

The Lord Provost said: “International Workers’ Memorial Day is a day in which countries across the globe come together in remembrance of those who have lost their lives or suffered injury or ill health while working.”

“The day has taken on an added significance and poignancy since 2020 because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sacrifices many workers, especially those at the front line, have made to keep vital services going.”    

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff is a top priority for Aberdeen City Council and we work closely with our unions to minimise risk and make our workplaces as safe as they possibly can be.”

“This is not only a day for reflection but also an opportunity to renew that commitment and leadership, as the local authority, in setting standard in safe practices and working environments for the benefit of all workers in the city.”

The Council has worked in partnership with Trade Unions to organise this week’s programme.

Tommy Campbell, of Aberdeen Trades Union Council, said: “Here in Aberdeen and all around the world on International Workers Memorial Day we pay our respects and remember all those who have lost their lives through a workplace accident or an industrial related disease.”

“Whilst we remember the dead, we restate our fundamental right to fight for the living by ensuring all workplaces are safe and healthier to work in.“

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