Saturday, May 02, 2015

Workers' Memorial Day 2015 at the historic Three Mills Green, Stratford

On Tuesday, 28 April, it was Workers' Memorial Day. An international day to remember those who have been killed at work or died from work related ill health. UNISON estimates this kills up to 50,000 workers every year in the UK. It is also a campaigning day to keep workers safe.

UNISON Greater London Region and Housing Associations branch agreed to each place a wreath of remembrance at the Workers' Memorial in Three Mills Park, Stratford, London. This site overlooks the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The 2001 clasping hands sculpture  by Alec Peever is a memorial to a fatal incident which took place nearby in 1901 when a worker collapsed and died due to "foul air" at a bottom of a distillery well. Three of his workmates died successively trying to pull him out. It also remembers other workers who were killed at this site. This area was the birth place of the industrial revolution in London and also modern day industrial trade unions.

The Labour Parliamentary Candidate for West Ham, Lyn Brown, (and long standing UNISON member) was invited to place the wreath on behalf of Greater London Region & the Housing Associations branch Chair, Tony Power, placed the other wreath. UNISON members and the Health & Safety manager from nearby East Thames Housing Association also attended.

I think that this Sculpture and memorial site is one of the most important working class historical and artistic sites in East London but hardly anyone knows about it. Next year I hope to help arrange a bigger and better organised event.

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