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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2007

Workers' Memorial Day

Remember the dead but fight for the living

WORKERS' MEMORIAL Day on Saturday 28 April was commemorated in London with an emotional 200-strong march and rally.

Bill Mullins

The rally at the statue of the building worker in Tower Hill graphically revealed the anger and sorrow felt by many about what is happening throughout the construction industry. Speeches by the families of those killed in the last few years caused many to feel anger at the callousness of the employers towards those who work for them.

The widow of a crane driver who was killed last year, along with a man working on his car in a side street, told the rally that her husband's body was not moved for five days as it lay under the twisted wreckage of the crane. "It will be three years before we hear if anybody is going to be prosecuted for what happened", she said.

Another widow, whose husband was killed at the Wembley site, said that only six months before, she and her husband had gone along to another workers' funeral. He was from the same site and a good mate of the husband. She told the rally: "I said to him: don't let this happen to you Patsy"

Two workers a week are killed on building sites in Britain. As one speaker said, this does not include the thousands who die every year form work-related diseases such as asbestosis.

London is undergoing a massive building programme which will get even larger as the 2012 Olympics approach.

Yet the Labour government and the employers are cutting back on the number of health and safety inspectors by 380 next year to save money. Barry Camfield from the TGWU pointed out this was at the same time as: "spending billions on nuclear weapons and the Iraq war".

The Construction Safety Campaign is campaigning for a corporate manslaughter bill. This was something promised by New Labour at the general election in 2001. But nothing has happened and hundreds of workers have died since.

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In The Socialist 3 May 2007:

2007 election analysis: Time for a new workers' party

Scottish Elections: Labour rocked as SNP wins


Socialist Party election campaign

NHS cuts... privatisation... widening wealth gap

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: A matter of life and death in Swansea

Fat cats eye the cream


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Fighting for jobs, pay and services

Picketing the Tate Modern


Socialist Party editorial

Widening wealth gap needs working-class response


Socialist Party election campaign

Packed election rally for Scotland's Solidarity

Irish election - Socialist Party takes on the establishment

New Labour panics and resorts to lies

Yorkshire ISR and Socialist Students day of action


Global Warming

Alternative energy: Winds of change?


Education

Stop these education cuts


Socialist Students

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Seattle students walkout against the Iraq war

Pressure mounts for troops withdrawal


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Russia April 1917: Lenin returns from exile


Comment

Women must have the right to choose!


Socialist Party news and analysis

What 'public-private partnerships really mean

Campaigning for LGBT rights

Oppose legal aid contracts tooth and nail


Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Sunvic strikers

Greenwich workers fight on

Remember the dead but fight for the living

The scandal of HSE cuts


 

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