Last year, 131 workers were killed on the job or died from work-related illnesses in B.C. That’s nearly three workers every week – and thousands more were injured at work. Losing a loved one due to unsafe work conditions is unacceptable. We mourn for each of the 131 workers we lost, and for the family, friends, and colleagues left behind.
April 28 is a day to remember these workers and renew our commitment to fight for healthier, safer workplaces, for employer accountability, and for full compensation for injured workers and survivors. We must challenge employers and governments every day to prevent workplace injury or death, and occupational illness.
In this spirit, FPSE has joined unions across the province in the BC Federation of Labour Workers Deserve Better campaign to call for improvements to our labour and employment laws. All workers deserve safety, dignity and respect at work – but our current laws fail to make that a reality:
- Children as young as 12 can work almost anywhere, even in heavy construction;
- Wage theft happens with no consequence for unscrupulous employers;
- Workers facing intimate, personal or relationship violence have zero protected or paid leave;
- Many vulnerable workers are exempt from employment standards laws; and
- Thousands of workers in health, janitorial, food service, technology, forestry and other sectors can lose pay and benefits – or even their job – when their employer’s contract is re-tendered.
We encourage everyone to attend a Day of Mourning ceremony in your community, fly your flags at half-mast, and observe a minute of silence at 11:00 am on April 28, 2019. This is how we honour those we have lost, and deliver the promise of safe work to those to come.
Mourn the dead. Fight for the living.
The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.