This year, the National Day of Mourning takes on a special meaning. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused countless work-related death across the country.
In some cases, the killer was the virus. In others, the increased pace of production, longer workdays and mental health issues have had a significant impact on working people.
And that’s not even taking into account the increased mental burden on our Teamsters sisters, who often have to juggle family life with a job! Moreover, women often work in jobs where the risk of being infected by COVID-19 is higher.
The pandemic has affected everyone’s job, whether you are a health care worker in hospital or a retirement home, a truck driver or school bus driver, a warehouse or factory worker, a grocery or retail clerk, or a delivery person brining products and food to our homes.
Representatives from our union from across the country are working to protect the lives of Canada’s almost 125,000 Teamster members. This is a colossal task and I would like to thank them for their vigilance and dedication.
Nevertheless, it is important not to forget that workplace health and safety is everyone’s business: employers, workers, unions and governments must work together to protect the men and women who make sure the economy is in good shape. Prevention is the cornerstone of a healthy and safe workplace.
In closing, my thoughts are with the families of the workers who lost their lives over the past year, be it due to COVID-19 or any other reason.
At the Teamsters, we continue our tireless fight to ensure that every day, workers return home safe and sound.
President of Teamsters Canada
Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters