In recognition of the National Day of Mourning, several industry leaders shared messages, reflecting upon the day as well as looking to the future. Here’s what some had to say.
Sean Strickland, Canada’s Building Trades Unions executive director
“Throughout Canadian history there has been many major infrastructure projects that have resulted in the loss of life for workers.
“Our job as construction leaders is to continue to improve safety. We have a ways to go. We lost over 1,000 workers on the job in all industries last year in Canada. We need to remain diligent, we need to continue to put in place the best health and safety practices we can find. We need to make sure that that workers’ right to refuse work when they feel it’s unsafe is protected and they are not penalized for that.”
Joseph Mancinelli, LIUNA International vice-president
“The cost of going to work must never be life itself. It is our solemn duty and the duty of all employers and government to protect and respect the workers who build and work across our country.
“On April 28, as we mark National Day of Mourning, LIUNA stands in solidarity to honour our brothers and sisters who have faced a work-related tragedy and reaffirm our steadfast commitment for safe jobsites and safe workplaces. Today, we strengthen our voice and collective action to ensure that no one is injured on the job and that every worker returns home safe at the end of each and every workday.
“Today and always, we stand together as one union family and honour their lives and work together to ensure workplace deaths never happen again. Every worker has the fundamental right to a safe job and it is up to each and every one of us to carry this forward.”
Giovanni Cautillo, Ontario General Contractors Association president
“The Day of Mourning is an opportunity for the entire construction industry, and all industries, to pause and reflect on the workers who lost their lives or suffered an injury due to a workplace related hazards or occupational exposures.
“I see the Day of Mourning carrying equal significance for the employment sector as Remembrance Day holds for those who served in the military. The Day of Mourning makes us think about our workplaces is a different light. It asks everyone to stop, think about how they are working, and ensure they are safe and working properly so that each and every person can reunite with their families at the end of work each day.”