Port Alberni District Labour Council president Dave Warrender places flowers atop the monument dedicated to workers who were injured or killed on the job. The event took place on Sunday at the Steelworkers Hall on Montrose Street.

Alberni workers observe National Day of Mourning

More than 70 people attended the National Day of Mourning service at the Steelworkers Hall on Montrose Street on Sunday.



Workers paid respect to men and women who have been killed on the job at a National Day of Mourning ceremony held in Port Alberni on Sunday.

More than 70 people attended the special service which included a wreathe laying ceremony, at the Steelworkers Hall on Montrose Street. Representatives were there from the Alberni District Teachers Union, CUPE, United Commercial Food Workers as well as other labour groups.Also in attendance was Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser and Port Alberni Mayor John Douglas.

The day took on added significance as attendees paid their respects to the more than 300 workers who were killed in a garment factory in Bangladesh.

“This is like our Remembrance Day because people get killed and injured in their workplaces,” said Port Alberni District Labour Council president Dave Warrender. “Our motto today is the mourn for the dead and fight for the living.”

According to the BC Federation of Labour website, the federal government passed the Workers Mourning Day Act in 1990, which established an official day every years to commemorates workers killed or injured on the job. The day is known as Workers Memorial Day elsewhere around the world.

Also according to the BC Fed. the three leading causes of death in the workplace are exposure to harmful substances, transportation accidents and contact with objects and equipment.

At Sunday’s ceremony, one worker recounted how a student no more than 18-years old was killed on the job in the 1990’s.

Warrender knows of local instances in his working life though where others died on the job.

At a local mill, a worker was killed after he was sucked into a recover boiler because it wasn’t vented before its door was opened. In another incident, a worker was about to do some welding on a digester when he fell through the platform he was on and to his death.

“When you go to a workplace you should be safe and not have to worry about hazards,” Warrender said. “If there is a hazard then you have the right to question it.”

Warrender has been injury free for 39 years. “I’ve never been on workers compensation and never been injured and I’m going to keep it that way,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Alberni’s marine SAR unit relies on volunteers, local donors to stay afloat

Unit’s vessel will need retrofit, boat shed in next few years

Island Health issues boil water advisory for Cherry Creek, near Port Alberni

Island Health has issued a boil water advisory for the entire Cherry… Continue reading

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Alberni Valley Community Foundation seeks grant recipients

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be… Continue reading

Floods, power lines down on Bamfield Road

Power outage affecting more than 400 customers

Toronto mayor wants city to co-host 2026 FIFA World Cup

The mayor of Canada’s most populous city says he wants Toronto to be among the North American cities to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup

With a lighter touch, SAG Awards follows a familiar script

Morgan Freeman accepts the Life Achievement Award at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday

S. Koreans burn Kim’s photo as N. Korean band leader passes

South Korean activists burned a large photo of Kim Jong Un as an extremely popular girl band passed them

Trudeau heads to Davos to pitch investment opportunities in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum

Campbell River fire crews rescue two seniors trapped by mudslide, four homes evacuated

Residents were safely removed from the house and are now staying with family

A look at potential Canadian nominees for this year’s Oscars

The nominations are to be revealed Tuesday morning for the 90th Academy Awards

B.C. expert weighs in on why kids are eating Tide pods for fun

Why are kids taking part in something completely pointless yet so risky?

Most Read