UNISON co-hosted the Workers Memorial Day (WMD) event at the Town Hall with Waltham Forest Trades Council on 28th April, the day when trade unionists across the globe remember those killed at work and pledge to fight for the living. Our two local Labour MP’s, John Cryer and Stella Creasy both turned despite having hectic General Election Campaign schedules. They spoke very supportively on the issue of improving health and safety at work and stayed for the entire ceremony, laying a bunch of flowers down from the local Labour Party.
John Mclean from the GMB also spoke and gave a passionate and informative. John sits on the Parliamentary Select Committee for asbestos. Lorna from Thompsons spoke about the legal compensation issues in respect of asbestos. The FBU and NUT speakers both spoke, the FBU focussed on hazardous substances, something their members have to deal with almost every day and the NUT spoke of the dreadful impact that stress is having on the teaching profession. George Toogood spoke about the Bhopal disaster and Vincent Borg, UNISON National health and Safety Officer, spoke about asbestos in schools. Dave Knight, in his presentation at the start, read out the FACK (Families Against Corporate Killers) statement for WMD and announced the names and ages of those who have been killed in Waltham Forest over the last few years including the recent death of Marian Nemit, the 21 year old Romanian, who was killed on a construction site at the Bakers Arms just a week before. Laura and Mrs. Holmes, the daughter and wife of Raymond Holmes, who was killed at the Coppermill Water Works a couple of years ago attended the event and they seemed pleased that they did attend.
Mick Holder from the Trade Council closed the event with a passionate plea to remember the dead and fight for the living.
Wreaths were laid and a minute’s silence was observed before the event finished.
We collected £215.16 by selling the commemorative purple ribbons and this will be shared between the Bhopal Disaster Fund and the East London Mesothelioma Society. Thanks to all of you who contributed.