28th April – Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living

International Workers’ Memorial Day Tuesday 28th April-   Join the minute’s silence at 11am

IWMS Selfie PosterEach year, trade unionists across the world mark all those who have lost their lives at work.
This year, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic makes this occasion more poignant than ever. The deaths of key workers in the crisis are avoidable and we must demand that they are all protected. We must make sure we mark this day despite the restrictions we are all under.
UNISON, along with other trade unions and organisations, is calling on all our members to join in a  minute’s silence at 11am Tuesday, 28th April.

What you can do
Whether you are at your workplace, are working from home, retired or perhaps self-isolating, you can still join in on the day:

  • Take a ‘selfie’ with our poster (or perhaps make your own)
  • Post it on your preferred social media and tag us – #unisonsouthend and #iwmd2020
  • You can also email your photo to unison@southend.gov.uk and we will put together an album for our website and Facebook page
  • If you will be in work, why not do a group selfie with your colleagues and encourage other UNISON members (and non-members) to take part? (keep a safe distance)
  • In central Southend, UNISON is arranging a ‘socially-distanced’ event on the steps of the Civic Centre at 11am so that we can have a collective (but safe!) meeting in memory of those who have lost their lives. If you work in the Civic Centre area or live nearby, please join us if you can
  • In the evening, UNISON’s Assistant General Secretary, Roger Mackenzie, will be one of the speakers at an online ‘Stand Up To Racism’ meeting, addressing why so many Covid-19 deaths have been of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) people, particularly in the health and care sectors. The meeting will be livestreamed at 7pm on the Facebook page for Stand Up To Racism.


One of the slogans for International Workers’ Memorial Day has always been ‘Remember the Dead but Fight for the Living’. That idea has never been more relevant as we have seen health’ care and other key workers losing their lives, in the UK and around the world. We all join in the #clapforcarers but we need to fight for them, not just thank them.

We want to make sure we demand the things which will help protect frontline workers who continue to be at risk. That means giving a clear message that they all need the right level of PPE and access to testing, so they can be safe at work and help keep the rest of us healthy. These things have been too long in coming and standards have been sacrificed. So, we will be saying PPE Now! If you post online, use the hashtag #PPEnow .

Many of our members work for Southend Council and we expect the Council to support the minute’s silence. Ask your employer to allow everyone to join the minute’s silence and let UNISON know if they won’t!