April 28 is the International Day of Mourning for Workers who died, were injured or became ill on the job — a solemn occasion in any year, but particularly so for health care workers since the global pandemic began more than two years ago.
More than 4,200 Albertans have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020, some who contracted the virus while they were at work. Many more Alberta workers caught the virus and are suffering the effects of Long COVID.
Work shouldn’t hurt, but work is hurting health care workers everyday.
Many nurses and health care workers have suffered injury while facing incredible workplace complications created by COVID-19. The challenges of delivering safe patient care in workplaces that are understaffed and pushed overcapacity are hurting health care workers.
According to Alberta Health Services, nearly 20 hospitals or health centres across the province are offering reduced patient care services today due to staff or physician shortages.
Overwhelming workplace stress and distress has hurt morale and created untold psychological distress in the workplace over the past two years.
But it could have been much worse.
United Nurses of Alberta members and their coworkers have pushed for greater access to proper Personal Protective Equipment and workplace safety protections. Their advocacy helped reduce the spread of COVID-19, and the injury, illness and death that could have been much worse.
But while facing the pandemic has been a reality in workplaces, today is also a time to remember and honour the memories of workers who died, were injured or became ill on the job in other ways.
Alberta lost 178 workers to workplace injury or illness in 2021.
Even one is too many.
This Day of Mourning is an opportunity for workers, employers and governments to renew our commitment to health, safety and wellbeing for all working Albertans. It is also an important opportunity for nurses in particular to reflect on the importance of their own health and safety at work.
April 28 is the labour movement’s most solemn day, and officially became the National Day of Mourning in 1991 after the passage by Parliament of the Workers Mourning Day Act in December 1990. Since then, the occasion has come to be widely marked throughout the world.
Every year, thousands of workers, friends and families of fallen workers gather at ceremonies across Canada to recognize the National Day of Mourning for workers who died, were injured or became ill on the job.
This year, we will gather in communities across the country and online. As we mourn for the dead, we continue to fight for the living.
Calgary & District Labour Council
Day of Mourning Virtual Ceremony
Thursday, April 28, 2022, from
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Edmonton & District Labour Council
Day of Mourning
Grant Notley Park, 116 Street & 100 Avenue, Edmonton
Thursday, April 28, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.