The 'human cost of COVID-19' focus of this years’ National Day of Mourning
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Every April 28, Canadian unions commemorate the lives of those who have been injured, or worse, killed, while on the job.
During a pandemic, labour leaders say the focus has shifted to the "human cost" of the coronavirus.
“Needless to say, it’s been a sad and challenging year for workers, and the entire community,” says Brian Hogan, president of the Windsor and District Labour Council (WDLC) in a pre-recorded video message.
Because of the stay-at-home order in Ontario, the WDLC asked workers across various sectors to record a message about the challenges of their job, today.
Included in the virtual videos are messages from three family members who’s loved ones have died as a result of a workplace injury, before the pandemic.
The videos highlight the reality of working in a pandemic across various sectors, including hospitality, long-term care and agriculture.
“We always feel a little bit of pressure; the unknown of COVID,” says Wayne Currie, a firefighter and vice-president of the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association.
Currie says most people don’t realize firefighters are called out to many medical emergencies, along with paramedics.
“Normally we would enter those homes with just a mask. Now we have goggles, body suits and a mask. It’s a little bit different. Its challenging,” he says.
Currie believes Day of Mourning is also a call to action, for all employees and employers.
“We remember those who have been affected by injury, illness a disease and we do everything we can to ensure it doesn’t happen for the future generations.”