Mayday and Workers Memorial Day

Waltham Forest Trade Union Council hosted two important events in the calendar of the labour and trade union movement in Abbotts Park in Leyton.

People gathered to mark Workers Memorial Day, held every year on April 28th, to pay tribute to workers killed, injured, disabled and made unwell by their work. Workers like young Marian Nemit killed when a wall fell on him at a job near the Bakers Arms and Raymond Holmes who was killed working on the Thames Water site in Coppermill. Raymond’s wife and daughter sent the Trades Council a note of thanks for remembering him and for keeping up the tradition. The motto for the day is Remember the dead and fight for the living.

John Cryer MP for Leyton and Wanstead promised “a Labour government will really strengthen health and safety legislation.”

A minute’s silence was observed to remember all workers everywhere who’ve died over the past year. A special appeal was made to remember Lyra McKee a journalist and NUJ member in Northern Ireland recently shot whilst doing her job covering a disturbance in Derry.

This was followed by a festival to revive May Day, officially May 1st, the day when the working class all over the world asserts solidarity as brothers and sisters in struggle against the bosses – who keep wages down; cut jobs and privatise services.

The afternoon was a mixture of great entertainers like Steve White and the Protest Family, and great speakers from a range of organisations and campaigns like Chris Baugh assistant general secretary of the civil servants union PCS; lovely food from local campaign Palestine Solidarity a drinks tent provided by the Rose and Crown; children’s activities, face painting and games with Woodcraft Folk; lots of trade union stalls like the teachers’ union NEU; local government workers Unite and Unison; and campaign stalls like Save our Square.

Linda Taaffe declared: “Despite disappointing wintry weather there was a great response. Now the tradition has been revived in this borough after a lapse of more than 20 years, we will definitely come back next year. In the meantime we continue the struggle!”

For more information contact Linda Taaffe secretary on 0795 228 3558

Note to editors:
Photographs of the event are available but are only available for reproduction for a fee.
This Trades Council recognises the NUJ’s #Useitpayforit campaign.