A small group of people from the Estevan and District Labour Congress braved snow and sub-zero temperatures on April 28 for an outdoor memorial service.
April 28 is the International Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job, and the local labour congress has a ceremony each year at the coal car – located near the Fourth Street and Souris Avenue South intersection – to mark the occasion.
Bob Burchell, who is the international representative for Canada with the United Mine Workers of America, offered his insights into the Day of Mourning. He said it is a sad day for the labour movement, and for everyone in Canada, because there are too many workplace-related deaths and injuries in this country each year.
Legislation needs to be enacted or enforced, he said.
"Hopefully governments are watching what's taking place right across Canada today by the labour movement, in observing services right from coast to coast to coast, because the labour movement doesn't forget, and we fight to try to save the lives of our workers and our brothers and sisters," said Burchell.
Darcy Wright from the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers chapter read the roll of honour – the list of names of people from Saskatchewan who perished in workplace accidents last year. Thirty-five Saskatchewan residents were killed; some of the fatalities occurred in the southeast.
A candle was lit, and a wreath was placed at the coal car in honour of the victims.