2017 marks a sad milestone. As of May 9th it will be exactly 25 years since the early morning explosion that ripped through the Westray Coal Mine in Pictou County, Nova Scotia, killing an entire shift of 26 men, 11 of whose bodies were never recovered. They remain entombed in the underground wreckage of the mine, now covered by a memorial park where a monument stands as a lasting tribute to all 26 sons, fathers, brothers, uncles and friends. Many of them had signed USW union cards.
As you know, the USW has never stopped fighting for justice for the Westray families, and for the thousands of families across Canada whose loved ones have been killed at work. Since 2004, we have had the Westray Law, which amended the Criminal Code of Canada to hold corporations criminally accountable for causing preventable death and injury on the job.
Today, the struggle continues as we fight to have that law better enforced across the country. Too many employers still get away with practices and negligence that result in workers being killed. Thanks to our activists, we will never give up.
So on May 9th your participation would be welcomed as we again take the walk to the memorial that tells those who stand before it, “their light shall always shine.”
Agenda highlights – May 9, 2017 (watch this page for updated agenda information):
- Morning vigil to commemorate the Westray Mine Explosion – Meet at Summer Street Industries at 6:45 a.m. for a procession to the Westray Memorial Park
- Reading of “Hell’s History” by author Tom Sandborn
- Evening memorial service (starting at 7 p.m.) at Westray Memorial Park, with service led by Dr. Rev. Glenn Matheson and featuring a performance by the Men of the Deeps Choir ** to be confirmed
- Laying of commemorative wreaths by Westray Families Group, the Premier of Nova Scotia ** to be confirmed, USW Directors and others
- Reception at the Museum of Industry following the evening memorial service with more music from the Men of the Deeps and local talent Ron MacDonald
Travel & Accommodations:
Hotel: A block of rooms has been reserved at the:
Holiday Inn Express
86 Lawrence Boulevard
United Steelworkers rate is $117/night and includes
• Hot breakfast
• Free Wi-Fi in guest room
• Free parking
To book: call 902-755-1020 (ask for United Steelworkers group)
**Please be sure to book by May 1, 2017 at the latest
Flights: Stellarton is located 130 km from the Halifax, NS airport.
The following travel agents are available if you need help booking flights:
WE Travel – Lorna Parent (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vision Travel – Colleen Burke (email@example.com)