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Marking Workers' Memorial Day

Communities across South Tyneside are being called upon to remember fallen colleagues and friends this Workers' Memorial Day (Wednesday 28 April).

International Workers' Memorial Day is a global awareness event to commemorate people who have died, become injured, disabled or left unwell by their work.

This year's theme is Health and Safety is a fundamental workers' right, aimed at raising awareness of the critical importance for employers to ensure safeguards are in place to protect their workers.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and current Government restrictions, South Tyneside Council is not hosting its traditional commemoration and candle lighting service this year.

To mark the day, a virtual tribute will be screened on its social media channels at 11am, featuring poignant messages from the Mayor of South Tyneside and the Council's Interim Head of Paid Service George Mansbridge.

Trade Union representatives - Janet Green of Unison South Tyneside (Local Government), John Pearson of GMB and Martin Smithwhite of Unite - also appear in the short film showing support for union members past and present.

The Mayor, Councillor Norman Dick who is joined by the Mayoress, Jean Williamson to light a candle as part of the tribute, said: "Workers' Memorial Day is an incredibly important event. Tragically over this past year in particular there have been so many lives lost across many sectors and workplaces due to coronavirus.

"This Workers' Memorial Day will be especially significant as we pause to reflect and remember all those people in the UK and around the world whose lives were cut short in the course of their work while caring for and supporting others during these dark and difficult times.

"We also think about the devastating impact the loss of life has on the family, friends and work colleagues they leave behind."

South Tyneside Council's online Workers' Memorial Day tribute will be screened on Wednesday 28 April, at 11am, on its social media channels, including Facebook STynesideCouncil and LoveSTyneside and on Twitter @STyne_Council and @LoveSTyneside. It will also be available to watch on the Council's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/U3pP8DBWxt0

In it, the people of South Tyneside will be encouraged to observe a minute's silence at 12 noon and light a candle in solidarity to workers who have sadly lost their lives, not just due to the pandemic, but in workplaces everywhere.

The Mayor added: "We hope that people take a moment to join us as we express our condolences and pay their tribute to friends and colleagues lost while doing their job while giving thanks and appreciation to all those who continue to work to keep us all safe.

"By taking time to reflect, we also highlight the importance of safety at work, remind people about the needless loss of life and look at what more can be done to reduce the risk so that people are better protected in the workplace in future."

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