International Workers’ Memorial Day: April 28

April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day (Workers’ Memorial Day in the U.S. / National Day of Mourning in Canada).  The essence of this day of mourning is best stated in a quote from Mother Jones, “Mourn for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”  The victims and their families who have been killed or harmed because of greed in the workplace, deserve our support and prayers. 

On Friday, April 28 the IATSE International Moment of Silence, commemorating International Workers’ Memorial Day, will be observed.  Workers and local unions are asked to pause at work, their local offices, or where ever they are and stop for a moment of silence.  Here is a suggested reflection, which may be read aloud: 

“Each year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day/National Day of Mourning, working people throughout the world mourn for the people who were hurt or killed on the job, and renew our struggle for safe workplaces.  The best way to ensure that workplaces are safe is to make sure workers have the freedom to join together in a union.

Each year, millions of workers are injured – including workers in the entertainment industry working busy, highly-demanding jobs, sometimes in dangerous environments.

Unions have fought for and won a 40-hour workweek.  We fought for and won healthcare benefits and strong pensions.  We still have a lot of fighting to do to make workplaces safer and to ensure that significant standards are issued, and enforced, to protect workers.

On this Workers’ Memorial Day/National Day of Mourning, we remember and pay tribute to those in every kind of job and craft, in our own industry and all industries, who have lost their lives on the job or have been injured or made sick. 

And on this day, we commit to work together to fight the assault on workers’ right to bargain for fairer workplaces, safer workplaces, a better life and a brighter future. 

We mourn, we remember, and we will never stop fighting.

Please pause for a moment of silence.”

Other remembrances for this day can be black arm bands, wearing a purple ribbon with a knot tied in it, reading the names of those member/workers who have died during the year or in the past, or flying your flag at half-mast.

By taking these actions, you honor the workers who died trying to make a living doing some task that didn’t need to kill them.  We remember them and their families, and rededicate ourselves to the fight.

Links which may be helpful in commemorating this day, which include downloadable materials for use by local unions are below:

Workers’ Memorial Day (U.S.) | National Day of Mourning (Canada) 



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