Trade union holds Northampton memorial day ceremony to honour thousands who die at work

International Workers Memorial Day is a day when workers around the world stop to remember those workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.
International Workers Memorial Day is a day when workers around the world stop to remember those workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

It is a sad fact that workers still die in this country caused solely by the job they are employed to do often at the expense of making a few more pounds profit, says GMB.

Last year 144 people officially died at work according to the Health and Safety Executive - but GMB general trade union estimates the real number could be as high as 50,000.

Yesterday (March 26) GMB hosted the Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) ceremony on the steps of Northampton Guildhall to honour the thousands of people who die at work in Northampton.

The WMD event, hosted by GMB and sister union Unison, featured councillors from Northampton Borough Council alongside GMB, Unison, CWU and Northampton Trade Union Council members.

Ian Churms, GMB organiser at NBC, told the ceremony: “The dangers of work have been greatly reduced thanks to the tireless work carried out by the trade union movement over a number of years."

Between 2012 and 2016 the most recent figures show that 47 people have died in the East Midlands.

“Health and safety of our members and colleagues is always of paramount importance to the trade union," he added.

“It is a sad fact that workers still die in this country caused solely by the job they are employed to do often at the expense of making a few more pounds profit.”

Ron Mendel, president of the Northampton Trade Union Council, also made a short speech, while Ben King, health and safety officer for Northants County Unison, read a poem.