Keir Starmer has released a video message marking International Workers’ Memorial Day this year.
In the video, the new Labour leader pays tribute to those frontline workers and their family members who have died after contracting coronavirus.
Noting the one minute’s silence at 11am for those who have died, he declares that we must “continue to fight for those on the frontline to protect their lives”.
“We owe it to them to make sure they’ve got the right equipment, in the right place, at the right time, and we will continue to press on that,” Starmer adds.
We owe workers who have died at work – and those who continue to risk their lives during the coronavirus pandemic – a vision of a better future.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 28, 2020
Below is the full text of Keir Starmer’s IWMD message.
“Today is International Workers’ Memorial Day, and it’s the day every year when we remember and reflect on all of those that have lost their lives at work. A tragic thing for anybody; for their family, their friends or their community and really important that we remember it.
“This year of course is overlaid by the coronavirus. Every day we see our key workers going out on the frontline, risking their lives on behalf of all of us and, tragically, too many of them have lost their lives.
“And we owe them a huge debt and as we reflect today, 11am a minute’s silence, on behalf of everybody who’s lost their lives, we think particularly of all the grieving families that have lost a loved one.
“But remembering those that have lost their lives at work doesn’t end today. Our movement was built to be a voice for working people, a force for working people and that’s what we will always be.
“Throughout this crisis we must continue to fight for those on the frontline to protect their lives. Nobody should put their lives at risk because they haven’t got the right protective equipment.
“We owe it to them to make sure they’ve got the right equipment, in the right place, at the right time and we will continue to press on that.
“And we go out every Thursday to clap our key workers, to those that are taking that risk to their lives. But we can’t go out and clap on a Thursday, and pretend that when this is over we can return to business as usual.
“Many of those on the frontline have been undervalued and underpaid for far, far too long and we owe them and the whole country a vision of a better future when we come through this pandemic, as we will.”