Every year, Victorian Trades Hall Council hosts a memorial service to remember those Victorians who lost their lives at work. On Wednesday April 28, International Workers’ Memorial Day will be held in person at Trades Hall (subject to COVID-19 conditions). The ceremony will include speeches from Tim Pallas, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations; Ingrid Stitt, Minister for Workplace Safety and Minister for Early Childhood; Colin Radford, WorkSafe CEO; Madeleine Harradence, ANMF Assistant Secretary; and Luke Hilakari, Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council.
Since this day last year, there have been Victorian workplace deaths. For the first time, WorkSafe is now counting in that tally those killed on the road while working, suicides attributable to a workplace health and safety failure, deaths from industrial diseases such as silicosis, and workplace deaths resulting from a criminal act.
This International Workers’ Memorial Day will remember workers who have lost their lives, and will also provide an opportunity to reflect deeply on the importance of Victoria’s swift, proactive response to COVID-19 – a response that played a critical role in preventing countless more deaths, such as on the scale experienced in many other parts of the world.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary Luke Hilakari
“On International Workers’ Memorial Day this year, we respect, remember and pay our respects to the 48 Victorian workers who tragically lost their lives since we marked this day 12 months ago.
“Since July 2020, WorkSafe has chosen to include, in their tally, fatalities of workers from occupational illness, road incidents and suicide attributable to workplace OHS failure. We strongly support this change; recognising these fatalities as work-related is critical to preventing further deaths. In particular, 2020 has shown why it is vital to include occupational illnesses in this tally. Internationally, over 17,000 healthcare workers died in 2020 as a result of providing medical care to patients with COVID-19. This pandemic has been a stark reminder of the importance of our state’s collective solidarity in following health experts’ advice, and of having empowered unionists and Health and Safety Reps committed to ensuring their workplaces are safe.
“We call on the Federal Government to swiftly make vaccinations available to the whole community and to provide the best possible protections to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly to those working on the frontline of this pandemic.”
The event will be live streamed through the Victorian Trades Hall Council Facebook page or members of the press are welcome to attend VTHC in person, at Memorial Rock, corner Lygon and Victoria Street, Carlton.
10:30am: Event begins
11am: One minute’s silence, laying of wreaths
For media inquiries, please contact Suzi Taylor, VTHC Communications: 0447 333 834