Today we commemorated International Workers Memorial Day 2020.
We came together to remember those who have lost their lives, not only through this pandemic, but for other reasons related to their work – and we resolved to fight for the living, particularly by redoubling our efforts to ensure key workers have the correct PPE, access to testing and value within our society.
We began the day by encouraging our members to take photos showing their support and posting them to social media. Some of them are featured in this article. For more, please visit our Facebook “Salford City Unison” page.
At 11am we stood with NHS workers, Salford Health UNISON and Salford TUC outside Salford Royal Hospital to pay our respects with those on the front-line. Two minutes of silence were followed by a spontaneous outburst of applause.
At 12:15pm, we had the honour of supporting Salford City Council’s online commemoration. The event was introduced by City Mayor Paul Dennett before speeches from Lead Member for Workforce, Councillor Bill Hinds and our Branch Secretary and Council Staff Side Secretary, Steve North.
You can read Steve’s speech in full here.
Following the speeches we watched pre-recorded videos from Unite the Union’s Scott Henderson and two of our key worker reps, Sam Barry and Nadine Pratt. You can check out the fantastic vide made by Sam and his colleagues at Turnpike House Environment Depot, by clicking on the link at the bottom of this article.
Following a poignant one minute silence, where we also took time to remember Councillor John Ferguson, who until his death last year, was the driving force behind the annual IWMD commemoration, the City Mayor closed the event with a heart-felt message of gratitude to the workers of our city.
On International Workers Memorial Day, we rightly remember the dead, but we also re-affirm our pledge to fight for the living!