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Day of Mourning
Published: April 29, 2009

A 58 year old city bus driver strikes out on his last run of the night, carrying a hand full of passengers. An impaired driver blows a stop sign and impacts the bus with such force that the driver is ripped out of  his seatbelt and thrown thru the windshield. Despite heroic efforts by the passengers, the driver dies at the scene. He leaves behind a wife & twelve kids.

A 48 year old bricklayer is diagnosed with silicosis and hospitalized. His loved ones are forced to set up an around the clock vigil, in his room. Despite aggressive treatment, a skeleton of a man dies with his entire family at his bedside. He leaves behind a wife & three kids

Two seemingly unrelated workplace deaths, but they have many similarities. Both were unnecessary & preventable. Both men were the major bread winners for the family. Both leave in their wake, visions and memories for those who were there and a void for their families and generations who follow.
The bus driver was my father-in-law & the bricklayer was my father

Use the Day of Mourning as the catalyst to do whatever is required to stop the carnage –

  • Insist that earning a living, can be done safely
  • Insist that workers come home to their loved ones.
  • Believe that - One work related injury or fatality - is one to many!

Dwight Harper
President CAW Local 598
(Representing 578 laid off Xstrata workers)

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