Organising for safer workplaces this International Workers’ Memorial Day


28 Apr 2023

Unions remember workers lost to negligent employers and safety standards

Today, the 28th of April, marks International Workers’ Memorial Day, when trade unions around the world remember and mourn the loss of the colleagues, friends and family who never came home from work.

Most of these tragedies were preventable. Yet the negligence of employers and a lack of adequate occupational safety and health standards continue to kill and injure transport workers across the world.

In the past year, many transport workers have lost their lives in the workplace and millions more have suffered life-changing injuries and ill health, including:

  • Shocking reports that revealed that as many as 100,000 fishers were killed last year, in an industry where forced labour and human trafficking continue to be linked to fatalities.
  • Road transport remained the deadliest industry in many countries around the world, as truck drivers’ continue to be forced to take deadly risks to deliver goods at lower costs due to unsustainable rates of pay.
  • Tugboat workers’ safety continued to be put at risk from a lack of adequate safety standards, regulation and enforcement that can allow boats to operate for 50 years without a single inspection.

That’s why we fight to ensure workers’ have a seat at the table in setting occupational standards for safety and health in every transport sector.

International Workers’ Memorial Day is a day to mourn all the workers who have needlessly lost their lives to negligent employers. And it reminds us to organise so it doesn’t happen again.

We’re taking action today to honour the memories of colleagues and friends. Read on to see how you can take part.

This year’s theme: organising for health and safety – a crucial part of union action