Today marks 50 long and sorrowful years since one of the worst industrial fatalities this country and our city has ever witnessed.
The collapse of the West Gate Bridge on October 15, 1970 took the lives of 35 workers, and seriously injured many more.
The trauma it caused continues to ripple through families and to haunt the survivors and the workmates who were made to collect the bodies of their friends.
“We’ve come a long way when it comes to enforcing safety on worksites, but the enormity of this tragedy will never be forgotten," said CFMEU State Secretary John Setka.
"My father was one of the survivors who rode the bridge down and was lucky to survive.
"Today we pay our respects to the 35 workers who lost their lives and those who have been impacted by the tragedy forever, and remember why it is so important to continue to fight every day for the safety and lives of our members, to ensure they get home to their families.”
This morning at 11.50am, building sites across our city will pause to pay tribute to those we lost as a result of builders' and engineers' negligence.
A special service, by the West Gate Memorial Committee and the Victorian Trades Hall Council, will also be live-streamed at facebook.com/vicunions.
We hope that you will join us in honouring the lives of those that we lost.