Tuesday 28th April 2020

International Workers' Memorial Day 2020 - Statements on behalf of the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign, Unison South Tyneside Health Branch, and Unite the Union North East Health Branch.

Statement on behalf of the Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign

The Save South Tyneside Hospital Campaign joins with all in the minutes silence at 11am today for all the health care and other key workers in transport, food, and other vital industries, who have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic in Britain and across the world. We also send our condolences to all those who have lost loved ones as well in this pandemic.

April 28, 2020 is the 36th annual Day of International Mourning for workers killed, disabled, injured, or made ill through their work. It is a day when workers across the world, their trade unions and other fighting organisations, participate in ceremonies and meetings and observe a moment of silence to mourn the dead and fight for the rights of all the living, their safety and well-being.

This is a very difficult time for health care and other key workers in transport, food and other vital industries, all those central to keeping people safe. There is yet again massive concern that these workers have from the start - and are still - put in harms way by the lack of the right protective equipment, and the lack of mass testing and tracing as directed by the World Health Organisation. The government's refusal to test staff initially, and now even after three months its inability to secure a sufficient amount of the right protective equipment for health and care workers and all those who need it, is a criminal disregard for all human life, whether workers in the front line or patients.

This is why we must mark Workers' Memorial Day and remember all those who have lost their lives particularly those this year in the coronavirus pandemic by speaking in our own name. We cannot afford to hand over our trust to those who claim to govern in our name. They don't! They serve other interests and we must fight for our interests and our right to a safe human centred system of health care and a future where we decide how things are done and what we need to serve the interests of everyone in society. On this day we remember the dead and we fight for the living, and that our security lies in our fight for the rights of all.

Essential workers at South Tyneside Hospital standing in silence to remember colleagues and all workers who have lost their lives, sustained injury and suffered through their work. Thank you all so much.


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