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GMB Join Waltham Forest TUC To Remember Workers

Friday, April 26, 2013

GMB Join With Waltham Forest TUC To Remember Workers Killed At Work On Workers Memorial Day To Remember The Dead And Fight For The Living

1,500 to 1,600 people are killed at work and 20,000 to 50,000 people die each year in Britain from work-related diseases - about 5,000 from asbestos diseases alone says GMB.

GMB members will join with Waltham Forest Trades Union Council, other unions, campaigners, and relatives of those killed at or by work at the Coppermill Thames Water treatment site at 11.30am on Sunday 28 April to remember the dead and to continue to fight for the living on Workers Memorial day.

The details of the memorial event are as follows:

11.30am Sunday, 28th April

Outside Thames Water’s Water Treatment Works,

Coppermill Lane,

London E17.

There members of the GMB will remember their colleague Raymond Holmes who died on 20 April 2010 at the Coppermill Thames Water site. (A photo of Raymond is shown on the GMB website with this release). Raymond Holmes' family are unable to attend but have wished us well and thank us for our efforts in marking Workers Memorial Day.

We will also be remembering:

Andrezej Rokita, 55, from Poland, was killed by falling materials while working at M & M Contracting Ltd., Midland Rd. E10, on 22 March 2010.

Alfie Perrin, 16, from Enfield, who died when he fell from a scaffold in Camden Rd, Wanstead on 14 November 2012.

Speakers at Coppermill will include Darren O'Grady, Secretary of Waltham Forest Trades Council and Mick Ainsley of the GMB the union for water workers.

Mick Ainsley, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “GMB take the health, safety and well-being of our members very seriously. Unfortunately the present government are making it easier for unscrupulous employers who only want to pay lip-service to health and safety to do so. GMB will campaign vigorously in all workplaces to ensure employers do take health and safety seriously and condemn the government for its actions.”

In the UK, each year 1,500 to 1,600 people are killed while doing their jobs - including those killed on the roads while working. It is estimated between 20,000 to 50,000 people die each year in GB from work-related diseases - about 5,000 from asbestos diseases alone. Successive governments have repeatedly said almost all of this is predictable and preventable by employers who still fail to protect their employees and the general public.

Yet despite this the UK the government is attacking those health, safety and environmental protections we have fought long and hard for - using the cuts agenda to achieve what big, bad, killer bosses have been screaming for for years.”

Darren O'Grady, Secretary of Waltham Forest Trades Council said: "The United Nations say there are more people killed at work every year than those killed by war and that the majority of these workplace deaths are predictable, preventable and caused by negligent employers. That is why every year we mark 28 April by remembering those killed at and by work, and recommitting to the fight to stop the damage work does."

Mick Holder, local Hazards campaigner said: “The Tories continuously justify their attacks on health and safety protections by repeating their mantra “health and safety is a burden on business” while they ignore the reality that the burden is actually borne by the families and friends of those killed, maimed, disabled and inured at and by their work - and that the tab for all this isn’t picked up by the employers but by the tax paying public. We subsidise the actions of unsafe and unhealthy employers and that can’t be right.”

The government attacks on our safety police, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and cut backs in their official inspections, were shown as a very dangerous policy when over a quarter of 401 construction sites in London were issued stop work notices because of unsafe work activities by the HSE in a so-called “blitz” in parts of London in March – but what about the rest of London and when the “blitz” is over for the other eleven months of the year? During 2011/12, four workers were killed while working at construction sites in London and a further 471 were reported as seriously injured – more inspections would clearly reduce this toll of misery.”


Contact: Mick Ainsley, GMB - 0797 425 0947 or Darren O'Grady, Waltham Forest Trades Council - 07761 863 965, Dave Knight, Waltham Forest Unison - 07789 126 113

More information about Waltham Forest Trades Council:

More information about Workers Memorial Day can be found at:

HSE - One in four London construction sites fail safety inspections:


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