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City Council marks International Workers Memorial Day with lowered flags and wreath-laying ceremony

28/04/14

Aberdeen City Council has marked International Workers Memorial Day by joining with trade unionists for a special wreath-laying ceremony.

Speakers at the ceremony included,L-R, Richard Baker MSP, Tommy Campbell,UNITE trade union, Harry Bygate,RMT trade Union, Steve Dillon,UCATT trade Union, Councillor Nathan Morrison,Secretary of Trade Union Council, Chris Gordon,Thompson Solicitors & Coun Councillor Gordon Graham officially represented Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam to lay a wreath at Persley Walled Garden on Mugiemoss Road at 11am today [Mon 28 April].

Councillor Graham was joined at the event by senior officials representing trade unions in Aberdeen and North-east Scotland.

The peaceful walled garden is home to a special Workers Memorial – a black granite pillar commissioned by Aberdeen Trades Council and dedicated to all those who have lost their lives at work. The garden was opened by the then-Lord Provost Margaret Farquhar on 19 July 1997 as part of the Scottish Trades Union Congress centenary commemoration of workers.

The Union Flag was being flown at half-mast at the Town House today, with City Council invited to observe a minute's silence at 12noon.

Councillor Graham said: "The purpose behind the day is to remember and honour working people throughout the world who have lost their lives while going about their daily work. Importantly, it serves as a reminder to us all to continue to fight for working people's rights, to raise standards constantly, and to ensure tragedies are not repeated.

"That can best be done by building strong working people's organisations, and by making sure that both the public and private sectors pay close attention to the health and safety of those for whom they have responsibility at work."

Cllr Graham, who is vice-convener of the Council's Social Care, Wellbeing and Safety Committee, added: "Aberdeen City Council treats the welfare of its employees with the utmost seriousness and I would urge all employers to ensure their policies and procedures put safety first."

International Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK and Scottish Governments. This year's theme is 'Protecting workers around the world through strong regulation, enforcement and union rights'.