Trades union activists gathered in Berwick town centre today to inaugurate a public bench dedicated to Workers’ Memorial Day. The purpose of this international day is to remember all those killed through work but at the same time to ensure such tragedies are not repeated. Most deaths in industry are the result of exposure to dangerous substances. Workers have their health ruined by a range of ailments which often results in shortened lives. The plaque on the bench was initiated by Berwick Trades Union council and reads: “Workers Memorial Day. Focus: removing exposure to hazardous substances from the work place. Remember the dead; fight for the living. Placed by Berwick and District Trades Council”.
The day also marked the beginning of a Community Union campaign in the Berwick district. This is a growing movement, recruiting and organising some of the most vulnerable and exploited parts of the UK workforce. Berwick has one of the highest rates of in work poverty: zero hours, part-time and insecure work are common and these workers deserve union protection and organisation.