16th Jul, 2020

Droitwich people urged to help make Workers' Memorial Day more poignant this year

Tristan Harris 22nd Apr, 2020 Updated: 22nd Apr, 2020

PEOPLE in Droitwich are being urged to join others from around the world and place a lit candle in their windows on International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) to remember all those who have died doing their jobs.

The Droitwich Labour Group and local trade unions are championing the action.

They say, with the number of frontline staff who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, the event on Tuesday, April 28, will be particularly poignant this year.

Among them have been workers in the Worcestershire Hospitals Acute NHS Trust, medical staff, bus drivers in several cities and residential care home workers.

This year’s IWMD will focus on the safety of all those who are continuing to work during the current pandemic to keep essential services running.

Val Humphries, the chair of Droitwich Labour Party said: “It is clear the provision of protective equipment and safety measures for health service employees and many other workers has fallen short.

“Many of those affected are on low pay and have insecure contracts.

“We need a fundamental change in our attitude to public services and the value we place on all key workers and their wellbeing.

“Both the April 28 Memorial Day and May 1 – Labour Day – should be used to highlight this essential change.”

Dan Roberts, the chair of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Branch of Unite added: “Has there ever been a more poignant time to remember our workers who have fallen ill, been injured or died whilst in the workplace?

“This year, due to the heroic actions of the once dubbed ‘low skill workers’, we, as a world, can use the day to unite and recognise the incredible efforts of workers, from a range of sectors, in response to COVID-19.

“Furthermore, let’s ensure that those workers who are putting their health at risk every day are given appropriate protective equipment as well as fair pay and terms and conditions.”

Those marking International Workers Memorial Day can also use the hashtag #IWMD20 when posting on social media.

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