Report by Isabel Handovsky
80 to 90 people gathered at Princes Street Gardens for International Workers Memorial Day on 28 April. There were three keynote speakers: Catriona Lockhart whose husband had died whilst at work on a salmon farm, Tracey McBurnie a rep from Lothian NHS UNISON who spoke about the NHS workers who died from covid after continuing to serve the public without adequate protection, and Gus Sproule from the FBU who spoke about Barry Martin the firefighter who died in the Jenners fire and also about the susceptibility of firefighters to various illnesses including cancer.
Then several people, mainly from different union branches, laid wreaths in turn at the Memorial Tree, some of whom also spoke. It was a very moving occasion but at the same time there was an emphasis on the importance of the fight for safer working conditions, with various speakers adding an international perspective (eg the danger faced by journalists across the globe) and drawing a link between unsafe conditions and privatisation. The slogan used by many of the speakers was ‘Remember the dead..and fight like hell for the living ‘.