United Steelworkers Local 1-425 financial secretary Art Prevost emcees the National Day of Mourning ceremony.

United Steelworkers Local 1-425 financial secretary Art Prevost emcees the National Day of Mourning ceremony.

National Day of Mourning honours lives lost at workplace

Union leaders, workers, managers and politicians gathered to mark the 25th Annual National Day of Mourning.

Union leaders, workers, managers and politicians gathered to mark the 25th Annual National Day of Mourning at a ceremony Thursday in Williams Lake at the worker’s memorial monument outside city hall.

There were 122 work-related deaths in B.C. last year, said emcee Art Prevost, financial secretary of the United Steelworkers Union Local 1-425.

“We mourn for the dead, but fight like hell for the living,” Prevost said of the necessity to continue making workplace safety a priority.

Cariboo Regional District Area F director Joan Sorley said in 2016 unions are pushing for asbestos-free work places.

“I am adding my voice to stop asbestos imports,” Sorley said. “Even break pads have asbestos in them.”

Terry Tate, a project co-ordinator with Northern Skills Training Initiative, recalled the mill explosions at Babine and Lakeland and said they are always on people’s minds.

“Those were nasty things that everyone went through,” Tait said.

“We don’t want to go through that again so let’s make it safe out there.”