Each year, 28 April marks Workers’ Memorial Day, a day when we are asked to “fight for the living, remember the dead”. Over the years, health and safety standards at work have been improving and workers have been safer in undertaking their duties. This year it is very different. Already we know that 119 NHS and social care workers have died from Coronavirus (COVID19). Others workers, such as bus drivers, have also lost their lives.
Had these staff had the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), today they would be saving lives and caring for others. Not a single death is acceptable. The Government did not protect these frontline workers, scared of the consequences of working unsafely, these professionals still turned up at work to help others.
Many more are fighting for their lives today.
Rachael Maskell MP, for York Central says,
“Trade Unions have marked Workers Memorial Day each year as an opportunity to pay respects to those who have lost their lives in the course of their work, or from work-related disease. This year it takes on a new poignancy as we mark the lives of NHS and Social Care professional and other frontline staff.
“Had this been a construction site or a factory accident, there would be immediate clamours for a public enquiry. It wasn’t. It was at the heart of health and care system; their employer: the Government.
“It is unacceptable for any worker to be put at risk, and while I have been working constructively with employers across the city doing everything possible to prevent any risk to their workers, I am outraged that there are some employers who are not doing everything they can to protect their staff. Today I want these employers to read the stories of those who have been taken by COVID19, and then look their workers in the eye and explain why they won’t do all they can to protect their staff. Should any of them fall ill, should any of them die, they will have to look in the mirror as to why they let this happen.
“I have spent to last 5 weeks talking to 100s of workers across the city who are frightened. We still do not have sufficient PPE across all our services, and staff are still leaving home each morning wondering if they may contract Coronavirus.
“Fight for the Living; Remember the dead” is not a slogan, it is a call to action. Action starts today.”
The full York Press article can be read here: