SNP councillors highlight importance of International Workers Memorial Day

“Sometimes events such as International Workers Memorial Day can seem remote to most people but this year’s pandemic and the devastating number of deaths from Covid -19 highlight the importance of this campaign”, say SNP councillors, Cllr Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest) and Cllr John McNaughtan (Paisley East and Central).

Workers Memorial Day takes place on Tuesday 28th April 2020, with a minutes’ silence at 11am. The purpose of the day is two-fold, to remember those who have died, been injured, or made ill by their work and to ensure that this loss and suffering is used to reinvigorate the campaign for healthier and safer work; for those still at work, their families, and their children who will become tomorrows’ workers.

The campaign this year focusses on the deaths caused by Covid -19 (Coronavirus), especially all the health, care and other key workers who have already lost their lives to Covid -19.

Normally there would be two commemoration events in Renfrewshire – outside Renfrewshire House in Paisley and at the Workers Memorial Cairn in Robertson Park, Renfrew. However, the current lockdown means that it isn’t advisable to hold public events and we are asking people to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day at home (or in their workplace – if a key worker) at 11am by having a minutes silence to remember the lives lost at work, particularly in the fight against Covid -19.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren said;

“Too many families suffer the horror of seeing a loved one go to work and never return. The Covid -19 (coronavirus) pandemic is particularly significant in this year’s event. We’ve seen daily news reports of thousands of people across the world dying from this disease including many key workers in health, care and other essential sectors of the economy.

“Thousands of workers across Scotland and the UK are caring for those suffering from COVID-19 or delivering public services that are vital for us all – potentially putting their own safety and even their own lives at risk.

“Tragically, some of these workers have already died. In some cases, maybe more could have been done to protect them, whether by better enforcement of social distancing, looking after workers with underlying health conditions or provision of adequate personal protecive equipment (PPE) to keep them safe.”

Cllr John McNaughtan added:

“Every year, the sacrifice of workers around the world is recognised, but this year has a special significance because of the pandemic. According to some reports over 100 NHS and care workers alone have lost their lives to this pandemic while trying to save the lives of others.

“The risks faced by those working in the health and social care sectors has already been acknowledged, but there are also others – those working in childcare, police services and refuse collection, in hostels and rescue centres, in gas, water and electricity, and in transport services among them – whose work and dedication often goes unacknowledged.

“In many cases, these workers know that, by simply doing their jobs, they are putting themselves at risk.

“Please take the time to pay your respect to all the key workers who have lost their lives to Covid -19 at 11am on Tuesday 28th April.”