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Rail staff mark Workers Memorial Day

Rail staff mark Workers Memorial Day

Rail workers across the country are marking Workers Memorial Day today.

Workers’ Memorial Day was first observed in 1989 in Canada, and now on April 28 each year hundreds of communities and worksites around the world honour those who have died or been injured at work.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson will today be in Invercargill at the unveiling of a Council of Trade Unions memorial. Rail workers will be holding events in other areas, and in Wellington, rail workers will be joining the silent procession, leaving Bunny Street at 12.15 heading to Parliament, in remembrance of those workers killed at work.

"Every worker on every job has a responsibility to look out for their own safety and that of those around them. Workers Memorial Day is an annual time where we recommit to fighting for the best possible safety standards at work," he said.

“Members of our union work in a dangerous industry. They want to know that their workmates are free to return home safe and well at the end of their day.”

Wayne Butson said that the tragedy at Pike River had seen closer attention on health and safety and had prompted the recent independent taskforce on health and safety and the resulting legislative changes, currently before Parliament.

“Workplace accidents are preventable. This is a waste and a loss that can never be truly compensated for. For every workplace death there are truly dozens who suffer.”

"Mourn the dead, fight for the living’ remains the banner which we mark Workers Memorial Day with, and pledge to protecting and looking after our fellow worker,” he said.

Ends.

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