The Executive Committee of the Young Communist League has released the following statement to mark International Workers Memorial Day 2021.
Britain will fall silent today to remember all those who have lost their lives at work over the last year.
This year’s International Workers Memorial Day comes after over a year of the world being gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Well over 130,000 people in Britain have died, with millions across the globe.
The examples of countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, New Zealand and China have shown that the vast majority of these deaths were preventable.
Everyday working people continue to be infected, many losing their lives, due to being forced to work in unsafe conditions because they can’t afford not to. During this pandemic millions of working people have been given the choice of poverty or risking their lives by going to work.
Despite numerous COVID-19 outbreaks in Britain being linked to breaches of pandemic rules at workplaces and factories where workers and trade unions complained about unsafe conditions, no companies have been fined or prosecuted.
It should not be forgotten that since the beginning of and throughout this pandemic, it has been the incompetence and deliberate policies of the UK and devolved governments that allowed this tragedy to unfold.
The priority for Britain’s ruling class and their political representatives has been to keep the economy open as much as possible for as long as possible, in order to protect private profits and the value of shares in the City of London.
Bosses and governments must be held to account.
Only through the bravery and determination of trade unions and individual workers to protect ourselves and one another have working people resisted this negligence and enforced proper safety measures.
Lastly, we pay tribute to the tens of thousands of NHS and frontline workers who, in the face of ruling class incompetence, have laid down their lives to defeat this pandemic.
Working people save working people.
Remember the dead!
Fight for the living!
Young Communist League
28 April 2021