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CAUT marks Day of Mourning, calls for OSH as a fundamental right

On this National Day of Mourning, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) remembers workers who have lost their lives or suffered injury or illness while on the job.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great disruption to health and safety in the workplace. The toll on workers who provide frontline or essential services, many of whom work in precarious conditions, has been immense.

On this solemn day, CAUT renews its commitment to hold employers and governments accountable for ensuring better, safer, and healthier working conditions for all.

There were 925 workplace fatalities recorded nationally by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada in 2019, the most recent year for which statistics are available. One workplace fatality is one too many.

This year, CAUT joins Canada’s labour movement, workers, and their families to call for the International Labour Organization to adopt occupational health and safety (OSH) as a fundamental right at work.

Strong OSH regulation, and enforcement, with the meaningful participation of workers is crucial in safeguarding a safe and healthy workplace.

The National Day of Mourning, held April 28 every year, was initiated by unions almost four decades ago and officially recognized by the federal government in 1991.