Falkirk remembers those who have died in the workplace

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Workers were reminded of the vital role trade unions play in maintaining high standards of health and safety at plants and factories around the area.

It came as union members joined with local politicians on Saturday to mark International Workers Memorial Day.

Wreaths were laid beside a plaque erected by the Scottish Trade Union Congress in the foyer of Falkirk’s municipal buildings by Provost Pat Reid and SNP group leader Cecil Meiklejohn on behalf of Falkirk Council, by the trades union council and by local trade union branches. MSP Angus MacDonald, former Labour councillor Craig Martin and trades union council chairwoman Lorna Binnie were among speakers.

International Workers Memorial Day is marked on April 28. Falkirk Trades Union Council traditionally holds its event on the Saturday before to allow as many people as possible to attend.

It is held to honour those who have died as a result of their work, here and around the globe and highlight the need for strong health and safety legislation.

This year its focus is on the role of trade unions and the work they do keeping workplaces safe. In 2016 research showed safety reps in the UK saved the economy up to £725 million by reducing lost time caused by injuries and illness.

Trades union council secretary Duncan McCallum said: “Stories that Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe is trying to end collective bargaining at the plant in Grangemouth is something that should worry us all. It is vital that employers and trade unions work together to maintain high levels of health and safety.”