Events Health and Safety International

Edinburgh International Workers Memorial – Sunday 28th April 2024

The Edinburgh International Workers Memorial took place on Sunday 28th April at the Memorial Tree in West Princes Street Gardens.

Ian Mullen, Branch Health and Safety Officer laid a wreath on behalf of the branch.  Ian addressed the event, and we print his speech in full below.

Thank you all for attending today. My name is Ian Mullen, Health and Safety Officer, UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch.

Today we rightly pay our respects and remember those comrades and colleagues that have lost their lives or suffered ill-health as a result of work.

Today is also about internationalism and we should remember those international comrades that have suffered from war and oppression. Workers that through no fault of their own have lost their lives, homes, work and loved ones.

We remember those workers in Haiti, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine and of course Gaza where over 34,000 men, women and children have lost their lives at the hands of an Israeli government guilty of committing genocide.

Last year I quoted John MacLean, the Glaswegian socialist, educator, and pacifist who was jailed for refusing to join the British army in the first world war and campaigned against conscription.

John MacLean was famous for his public speaking and condemning capitalism and imperialism and at one of these meetings he said, “All the armies of the world are the enemy as the only people that profit from war are the capitalists”. That statement is as true today as it was in the early 1900s.

I’ll finish by saying that the trade union and Labour movement must continue to fight for safe workplaces.

In our communities and workplaces, we must campaign for peace, respect, dignity and equality for all workers at a national and international level.

Solidarity comrades.