Today, workers across the province are gathering to mark the National Day of Mourning, a day to honour and remember workers who have died on the job or who have become seriously ill or injured.
“Today is a somber occasion as we remember the 31 Saskatchewan workers who died last year as a result of their work,” said SFL President Lori Johb. “We must honour these workers and demand justice and accountability to make sure that all workers come home safe at the end of the day.”
Once again, workers are recognizing those who have died as a result of contracting COVID-19 while at work. Johb said that the failure of the Sask. Party government to protect workers from the most serious public health crisis of a lifetime is a clear sign of their failure to take occupational health and safety seriously.
“Even before COVID-19, the Sask. Party failed to take improving worker safety seriously, and as a result, workplace injuries and workplace fatalities in the province are some of the highest in the country,” Johb said. “We will continue to fight to make sure that our government recognizes workplace health and safety as fundamental.”
The SFL continues to call for increased worker safety protections, including:
- Paid sick time for all workers
- Proper PPE for all workers
- Safe staffing levels in health care, education and public services
- Increased fines and accountability for employers who fail to keep workers safe
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Saskatchewan passing Occupational Health and Safety Legislation. The legislation was ground-breaking, and enshrined workers’ three rights into law- the right to know, the right to participate, and the right to refuse.
“This legislation, and these rights, have made workplaces in Saskatchewan and across the country safer, and has saved countless lives as a result,” said Johb. “Fifty years later, we must continue to work to improve on this legislation, and commit to keeping up the fight to protect workers under the law.”