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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2000

Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace

More than one thousand Canadian workers were killed on the job last year. Thousands of others died of work related diseases, and thousands more were permanently disabled due to work related diseases and exposures to workplace substances.

In 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress declared April 28 an annual day of remembrance for workers killed and injured on the job. April 28 marks the passage of the first comprehensive Worker's Compensation Act in Canada. In 1991, Bill C-223, An Act Respecting a Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace, received Royal Assent.

In the United States, the AFL-CIO has adopted April 28 as the Worker's Memorial and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions organized the first International Day of Mourning on April 28, 1996.

Worker's compensation boards recognize approximately 800 work related deaths every year, and on average, one Canadian worker out of 13 is injured at work. According to CLC data, between 1984 and 1992 the injury rate for women workers kept pace with their rate of entry into the labour market.

The CLC is asking people to join as a community on April 28 at 11:00 a.m. for a collective "Pause to Remember" of up to two minutes to remember workers killed and injured due to their work or at their workplaces. These workers, for whom this day is set aside, deserve nothing less.

For more information see the CLC web site at