Wreaths were laid and a minute’s silence was held to mark Workers’ Memorial Day at the
Alameda Gardens yesterday. The solemn event was in remembrance of those who have died or been disabled during workplace accidents.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said it was an “honour” to mark Workers’ Memorial Day and thanked Gibraltar’s workers for their “valuable contributions”.
“The slogan for this day is ‘re- member the dead, fight for the living’ remember we are hereto remember and to pay our respects to those who have been injured or lost their lives at work.”
“Today also serves as a call for action around the world to protect the rights of workers in a safe working environment. The Government is committed to protecting these rights for workers in Gibraltar. At this ceremony two years ago to the day my colleague Neil Costa announced a new health and safety policy for the public sector which was agreed with Unite.”
“Today we continue to strive to achieve the high standards of health and safety in the workplace. The Government is grateful also to the unions who continue to work positively and are proactive with us for the benefit of all Gibraltar’s workers.”
Dr Garcia called Gibraltar’s working population as the “back bone” of the economy, society and the country.
He added that “enshrining” the event with a bank holiday was a manifesto commitment by the Government.
At the event he was joined by Government Ministers John Cortes, Gilbert Licudi and Paul Balban, and union representative who all paid their respects.
Speaking at the ceremony yesterday Paul Tremayne from Unite the Union also reiterated people should “remember the dead and fight for the living”.
“There is no more basic human right than to go to work in the morning and return home again at the end of the day safely, but for a significant number of workers their work is a hazard to their health,” Mr Tremayne said.
“One of the principles of Unite the Union health and safety commitments is the belief that the involvement of the work- force is crucial to achieve a good standard of health and safety. The system works best when trade un- ions and employers work together.”
This was followed by the laying of wreaths remembering those who have perished in the places of work. Representatives from various sectors including health, policing, fire services, construction and customs also laid wreaths.