Poignant tribute to men and women killed at work

Trade Unions walk from the Civic centre to Sunderland Minster to commemorate Workers Memorial Day.

Trade Unions walk from the Civic centre to Sunderland Minster to commemorate Workers Memorial Day.

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WORKERS who have lost their lives in the workplace have been honoured in a special ceremony on Wearside.

More than 70 people marked Workers Memorial Day with a wreath-laying ceremony at Sunderland Civic Centre yesterday, followed by a parade through the city to Sunderland Minster for a memorial service and banner blessing.

The North East has one of the highest proportions of workplace asbestos victims in the country and attendees heard from the Northern TUC Asbestos Support Group about the work it is doing to provide support for the growing number of people in the region suffering from asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma, pleural plaques and asbestosis.

TUC Project Worker Tom Ross also highlighted the work unions are doing to promote health and wellbeing, such as working with employers to introduce the Better Health at Work Award.

Northern TUC chairman Gill Hale said: “Workers’ Memorial Day is always a very important and poignant date in the trade union calendar and reminds us just how relevant and necessary unions are in campaigning for workers health and safety – in the broadest possible terms.

“The Northern TUC Asbestos Support Group and the health and well-being project are both excellent examples of the practical contributions being made to workers past and present in our region, and this is the best possible way we can pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in or through work.”