Thompsons Solicitors will join with fellow trade unionists around the world today [28 April] to commemorate International Workers’ Memorial Day, at a time when the government looks to deny access to justice for thousands of workers.

International Workers’ Memorial Day focuses on the preventable deaths of workers across the world. The day of commemoration highlights the work that still needs to be done to ensure safety in the workplace – in 2015, 260 people suffered a fatal injury at work in the United Kingdom alone.

Events are being held across the country with a message to “remember the dead: fight for the living.” The Trades Union Congress has a list of the events taking place across the country, ranging from memorial services to musical performances.

The Workers Memorial Day theme for 2018 is ‘Unionised workplaces are safer workplaces’. Thompsons Solicitors has worked with trade unions since the firm’s creation in 1921, holding employers to account when they injure their workers.

From winning the first industrial disease case in the UK, to our continued representation of workers who are suffering from mesothelioma contracted from asbestos exposure at work, Thompsons Solicitors has always stood shoulder to shoulder with workers to protect their health and safety rights. 

Legislation currently going through parliament will increase the small claims limit to £5,000 for those injured on the roads and £2,000 for all other injuries including for those injured at work. This would restrict access to justice for thousands of people injured through no fault of their own, whilst at the same time hand millions of pounds to insurance companies who are already reporting record profits. To oppose these reforms and ensure that employers aren't allowed to escape their responsibilities because workers can’t afford to enforce their rights, see here.

Stephen Cavalier, chief executive of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “On Workers’ Memorial Day, Thompsons joins trade unions, workers and families across the world in remembering and honouring those who have lost their lives at work.

“No-one should go to work and not return safely. All workers must be protected against accidents and industrial disease. We will continue to campaign alongside fellow trade unionists for the strongest possible safety standards at work, properly enforced, with strong union representation in every workplace and with stringent sanctions against employers.

“Everyone who is injured at work or suffers industrial disease must have the right to legal redress. We condemn the government’s proposals in the Civil Liability Bill to restrict access to justice for injured people.”