days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Day of Mourning

Please join us in a moment of silence to honour our CUPE colleagues who lost their lives at work in 2023, as well as the thousands of workers from all industries who suffered workplace injuries or deaths while on the job.

Jennifer Doucette, CUPE Local 1630, Manitoba
Steven Seekins, CUPE Local 374, British Columbia.

The National Day of Mourning began as a CUPE initiative, led by Safety Director Colin Lambert who had worked as a steelworker and miner. It was passed at the National Convention in 1985, and by the Canada Labour Congress in 1986. The goals were simple: raise awareness of workers killed or injured on the job. In doing so, we are encouraged to improve health and safety legislation, raise awareness of worker rights, and improve working conditions.

In 1991 a private members bill was passed in the House of Commons officially marking April 28th as a National Day of Mourning.

As workers in a safety-sensitive industry, we must never let our guard down. Never feel embarrassed, ashamed or afraid of asking questions or raising concerns. Workplace safety systems depend on this. It is our RIGHT and our RESPONSIBILITY.

As safety leaders, we regularly engage our colleagues in management on tough issues. We sometimes raise uncomfortable questions and challenge assumptions as well as established practices. Recognizing that excellence isn’t a finite goal but rather an ongoing journey is crucial to sustaining a culture of safety and continuous improvement in any organization.

You can learn more about the history of the National Day of Mourning and progress in workplace safety here:

CUPE Counterpoint article

CCOHS Day of Mourning page