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MEDIA ADVISORY: Mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living

AUPE to hold online Day of Mourning event

Apr 27, 2022

AUPE to hold online Day of Mourning event

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It’s not enough to mourn for workers killed injured or made sick at work, we must fight like hell for the living.
That message will be heard when members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) gather for the annual Day of Mourning ceremony tomorrow (Thursday), March 28.
The Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board (or WCB) has reported 178 deaths in our province from workplace injury or illness.
“That is a sharp, and worrying increase, from the 150 workers who lost their lives in 2020,” says AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola, chair of AUPE’s standing committee on Occupational Health and Safety.
In an address to the online event, Gostola will say: “Unfortunately, workers cannot rely on their employers to do the right thing or to follow the best practices to keep them safe. Far too often, the appetite for profit or the pressure to cut spending puts those workers in harm's way.”

She adds that official statistics tell only a part of the story. “Independent researchers estimate the true number of fatalities because of work each year is between 10 and 13 times higher than WCB reports.”

AUPE president Guy Smith will tell those attending the ceremony: “Let us take some time to mourn for fellow workers who have died, then spend the rest of the time to fight like hell for the health and safety of the living.”

Two AUPE members will be presented with one of the union’s highest honours, the Rolyn Sumlak Award, named after a member who lost his life on the job more than 30 years ago.

Media and the public are invited to attend AUPE’s event.

What: AUPE Day of Mourning Ceremony, for workers killed, injured or made ill by their job
When: Thursday, April 28, starting at 2 p.m. (Mountain time)
How: Please click the link below to join the webinar using Zoom:
Or dial and join by audio only: 1 587 328 1099 (long distance charges may apply)  1 855 703 8985 (toll free)
Or watch on Facebook Live here:


AUPE vice-president Bonnie Gostola will be available for comment after the event.
For information, please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer, at 403-831-4394 or


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