International Workers Memorial Day


International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) is an international day that unions, workers and their families and communities around the world join together to remember those who have been killed or injured at work, and to fight for the living. Each year an international theme is chosen

History of IWMD

International Workers Memorial Day was initiated by Canadian Unions in 1984. By 1996, it was an international day. Australian unions have marked the day since 1997.

In 2004 Victorian Unions adopted the canary as the symbol of this day (first adopted by Canadian Unions).

Why we have IWMD

Globally, we remember the more than 2.78 million worker deaths each year. Additionally, there are approximately 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries each year, resulting in more than 4 days of absences from work. Add to these the over 160 million who develop illnesses from unsafe, unhealthy or unsustainable work and workplaces.

In Australia: Workers bear the cost of hazardous work It is workers, not employers, who overwhelmingly bear the costs of workplace injuries and diseases, an official Australian report has shown. The report by Safe Work Australia revealed three quarters of the costs of workplace injuries and diseases is borne by the injured workers themselves, with just 5 per cent borne by employers. 

On 28 April each year, workers and unionists meet to remember the dead and fight like hell for the living. Find the details for an upcoming IWD ceremony here


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