We cannot forget worker safety

More than ever today, it is important to remember the Day Of Mourning message: to fight for the living and mourn for the dead.

Industrial workers and emergency services personnel marked the 28th annual Day of Mourning on Monday with a service at the Steelworkers’ Hall in Port Alberni. Each year, it seems attendance is dropping at this event. It shouldn’t.

Three decades on, it is more important than ever to remember the original message: to fight for the living and mourn for the dead.

In 2013, 128 people died on the job in B.C. That’s 128 too many as far as the Port Alberni & District Labour Council and its members are concerned.

Yet many members fear the message is becoming diluted.

‘We’ve had tremendous changes; but I see the changes slipping away,’ Unifor 686 representative Rick Lord said. ‘People are starting to forget. We can’t forget history.’

When Lord started working at the paper mill in 1969, there were 12 fatalities at the mill. Those remaining demanded safer working conditions.

A new generation of young workers is being trained to take over at the paper mill and other mills in our community. They cannot comprehend the meaning behind the Day of Mourning, because big industry has cleaned up its act since the days when an average of three workers per year were killed on the job.

The interests and attitudes in these young workers is challenging: they don’t understand why we pause every April 28 to remember. They are attached 24/7 to their attention-diverting electronic devices. They have never seen a paper machine suck up a colleague in the blink of an eye.

It is up to us to ensure they are well educated in safety measures so that they never do.

Just Posted

Kids help Alberni Aquarium build rockfish luminary for next exhibit

Swimming For Change takes over in time for spring break

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Port Alberni council looking at nearly 4% tax increase for 2019

Policing, bridge rehabilitation and impending cruise ship visits all jostling for funding

Fashion Fridays: Must have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death has not been released

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Australian woman killed in avalanche at Whistler

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but she did not survive

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Most Read