Coventry commemorates International Workers’ Memorial Day
Today is International Workers’ Memorial Day, and an event was held in Coventry to remember those that have died through work related issues, all those that suffer through a lack of appropriate health and safety regulation and increases in workplace stress.
Each year thousands of workers are killed, fall sick or are injured in the workplace. This is linked to increasingly exploitative employment practices such as zero hour contracts and attacks on holiday entitlement and sick pay.
One of the themes this year was the growing ‘Gig economy’ with more workers being employed through companies like Uber and Deliveroo. Joel, a campaigner with Youth Fight for Jobs highlighted this very point, explaining that unless the economy and society are re-organised on socialist lines to put people before profit, things are very bleak for young people under the capitalist system.
Two speakers from Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre told the audience about the problems being faced by workers from abroad. Organising these workers in to trade unions will be a key task for the movement, to ensure everyone has a decent wage and to stop employers and their ‘race to the bottom’.
Other speakers included the Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Skipper, who thanked Coventry TUC for organising the event, Sarah Feeney from UNISON, Stephen Cowden from UCU, JP Rosser from PCS, and Alan Lewis and John Swift from UNITE.
In closing the meeting, Jane Nellist President of Coventry TUC urged those gathered to pledge to “remember the dead and fight for the living”. A key part of that will be building stronger and more militant trade unions, linked to a socialist programme to end the capitalist system that puts profit before the lives and wellbeing of workers and their families.
Coventry TUC have organised a May Day Rally for Saturday 29th April, 11am in Broadgate. One of the main speakers will be John McInally, vice-president of PCS.