Worker Memorial Day ceremony outside the Assembly Hall. This had been organised the local UNISON Branch Health & Safety Officer Su Manning. All around us on the floor were shoes and work boots. Fran Chalkwright started the Ceremony after a welcome from Su by reading out the moving poem “Empty Shoes” written by Wendy Lawrence.
Next the Chief Executive of LBWF spoke, followed by the UNISON National Officer for Health & Safety Hope Daley who reminded everyone about what this day meant. Retiring local MP Neil Gerrard spoke about the recent Health & Safety successes (Corporate Manslaughter legislation and increase in criminal sentencing tariffs) and occasional failures (Law Lord ruling about asbestos compensation). We then had Ben Simmons from Thompsons speak out about battling for compensation for workplace victims, Rinaldo Frezzato from the NUT, Sergeant Douglas from the Metropolitan Police talked about the importance of risk assessments and finally Tony Phillips from Waltham Forest Trades Council. The Mayor then laid the first of three wreaths followed by the local London Fire brigade.
There was then sandwiches at the local Social and Sports club.
It was probably the best organised local Health and Safety event I have ever been to and well done to Su and the branch. Next year lets have more boroughs across London organising similar events.
There were also a number of local Labour Party Council candidates and PPC's there including Stella Creasy and Cath Arakelian.