Open Letter to Prime Minister – Ed Thomas – Day of Mourning

Prime Minister Trudeau & Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour – Mihychuk

Office of the Prime Minister, 80 Wellington street,Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2

January 8, 2016

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau  & Minister – Mihychuk:

My name is Ed Thomas, I am a retired tractor operator from the City of Hamilton and the author of Dead but not Forgotten – Monuments to Workers.  The book is dedicated to workers that have been killed and injured on the job and includes over 130 monuments in 22 different countries. (I have included copies for your information.)

Historically, the Day of Mourning is rooted in the Canadian labour movement, whose actions led to the first national recognition of April 28 by any government as Canada  adopted the “Day of Mourning” Bill C-223 in 1989.

As we are entering the start of the year 2016 Canadians should be pleased to know that there are over 13,000 Day of Mourning  activities in over 130 countries.  Over 14 million people throughout the world take part yearly in actions to highlight the plight of over 2.2 million workers in the world who die every year and 160 million more who become ill due to unsafe work and unsustainable forms production in the world.

For several years, I have been involved at the United Nations with the International Trade Union Confederation promoting global recognition of April 28; the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers (ICD).   My main focus over the years has been to get more countries to officially recognize  the ICD.   When I first started this process, Canada was the only country to officially recognize the Day of Mourning.   This process has been very successful with  governments that have adopted it: Argentina, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, United States and United Kingdom. In addition, the Andean Community of countries has also adopted April 28l thus bringing into scope Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and its associate member Venezuela,  bringing the total number to 25 supporting governments.

I have personally made it my mission in life to raise the awareness of the Day  on the global stage.  For several years  I have led delegations of trade unionist from around the globe to the Executive Office of the Secretary Generals (Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-Moon) of the United Nations.   Three of those years our delegation met with Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director of the ECOSOC Support and Coordination Department of Economic and Social Affairs.    During those meetings I hand delivered a letter asking both the General Secretaries to start the process of having the United Nations General Assembly officially recognizing April 28.                    

I would like to encourage you in partnership with the Canadian  Labour Congress (CLC) to publicly announce April 28 and join with the millions of people around the world who will also be recognizing this important day.   I would also ask you in joint consultation with the CLC  to start the process to have the government of  Canada to formally  submit a resolution  to the United Nations General Assembly to officially adopt this day.  It would be in our interest to invite the other 24 countries that governments have officially adopted this day to  a meeting in Ottawa.  The meeting  would  be to encourage them to support or co-submit the same resolution.

I draw your attention to page 12 of my book that has the world stats of workers killed on  the job from all countries.  (Canada 936)

Thank you for  your consideration this matter.

Yours truly,

Ed Thomas

Enclosures (2)

Cc HassanYussuff President of the CLC

Lucien Royer International Affairs Director of CLC

MP David Christopherson

MP Scott Duval