Tomorrow, April 28, is Worker’s Memorial Day. According to the Council of Trade Unions (CTU)
“Fifty-one workers were killed while they were doing their job last year”
This figure of ’51 workers’ will be misleading.
These will be workers paid by employers and probably don’t include farmers and others in various forms of self-employment. What about the road deaths of those on the way to work or travelling in relation to their own business? Also, there are many more deaths of people undertaking work roles that aren’t part of paid employment, such as those fishing or hunting to feed their families. They are also killed in their work. Like workplace deaths as counted by the CTU, these uncounted categories of worker deaths will involve mainly male deaths. Even those killed driving to or from work will more often be males required to travel longer distances in more dangerous driving conditions such as gravel roads.
CTU president Helen Kelly bemoaned the deaths of ’51 workers’ on the job here last year, referring to them as
“Fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, loved members of family fabric…”
She carefully avoided any comment that might draw attention to the fact that nearly all of those killed on the job were men. Ok, if indeed there were any mothers and daughters in the statistics it’s fair enough to refer to them, but in the absence of any recognition that this is overwhelmingly an issue of male disadvantage Helen Kelly’s statements are badly misleading. This is propaganda that deliberately plays down men’s disadvantage and men’s contribution to our society. Even if the unpaid work roles women more often than men contribute to their families etc were taken into account (e.g. raising children, driving, working on one’s own farm or orchard) men would still overwhelmingly dominate the statistics.
If Helen Kelly really cared about workplace deaths she would acknowledge the male gender of the vast majority of them. Her ‘respect’ for fallen workers when she marches tomorrow will be the crocodile tears of someone for whom feminist propaganda is more important.