This International Workers Memorial Day, I extend my best wishes to workers across the region, as we remember people who have lost their lives and their health through work and reflect upon past struggles for hard-earned rights. I also extend strong feelings of solidarity to those workers still struggling, here and throughout the world.
We cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to fight for those hard-won rights and against employers who compromise the safety of their staff in the pursuit of profit. We have seen over the last five years how easy it is for that necessary legal protection to be lost. The Tories and the right across Europe see health and safety protection as 'red tape' and so I and my Labour colleagues continue to resist attempts by business and their friends in government to slowly but surely erode the few protections workers have, and which our colleagues have died for.
I hope this International Worker's Memorial Day is a safe one and the coming year will deliver the protection workers need and deserve.