National day of mourning

Today is the National Day of Mourning for workers who have been injured or killed on the job. An event was held at City Hall this morning to highlight the many ways people deal with abuse at work, both physical and psychological. Many still fear going to their jobs everyday.

It was a somber morning of remembrance, with a wreath laying ceremony at the injured workers monument near City Hall.

Honouring those that have been killed at work, and those whose lives will never be the same because of a job related injury.

Others are hurt by students and patients with lack of staff and little support.

Some say they experience violence like kicking or biting on a daily basis.

8 years ago, Marvin Mulder injured his back while working as a mover.

“One day my body just couldn’t take it no more” he says.

As a result of his injury, the 47 year old has to walk with a walker. On top of this, Mulder and his wife now struggle financially. A reality for many injured workers.

His benefits have been cut, and every week he wonders how to put food on the table.

Unfortunately this case is not unique, as thousands of workers are hurt every day in Canada, physically, mentally and sexually.

For every thousand that are reported, there are 3 to 4 thousand more that go unreported

Many told that violence is a part of the job, something especially common for healthcare workers and educational assistants.

The names of two men who have been killed on the job in Hamilton and St. Catharines this year were read out loud.

One of those men, 25 year old Kalvin Richards, was killed in an industrial accident in Hamilton just a couple of months ago. He leaves behind a baby daughter. Richards was cleaning a canola oil tanker when he became trapped inside.at the time, his girlfriend said Richards often complained about unsafe work. An issue many workers feel as though they can’t voice.

The president of the Local Labour Council says that’s the number one problem he sees in many workplaces, people are scared to refuse unsafe work and feel as though they will be penalized for it. His advice, speak to your union rep, if you are not unionized, call the ministry of labour and you can anonymously ask for someone to come in and evaluate your workplace.


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