FORTNLINE workers who sadly lost their lives in the battle against coronavirus were remembered today in Stirling.

Trade union partners and Stirling Council marked International Workers' Memorial Day, which this year focused on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Held annually on April 28, the day is to commemorate those who have died at work or from work-related injuries, while also calling on employers and employees to improve conditions for the living.

Normally an event is held at a dedicated memorial site at Old Viewforth with trade union representatives, council staff and elected members.

This could not go ahead this year due to restrictions, but as part of a national initiative, people around the country observed one minute's silence at 11am.

Lorraine Thomson, UNISON Stirling Branch secretary, said: “These are anxious and the most challenging times we have ever been through.

“The UNISON Stirling Branch would like to pay our personal respects to all victims of this indiscriminate virus and cannot imagine the depths of sadness that exist.

“In such times of crisis, we need to focus on what helps and supports, protects and allays the anxiety of the workforce that’s why it’s vital that we ensure that members have the right protective equipment to do their job safely.”

What added to the importance of the day is that essential workers across Stirling are continuing to play a heroic role in tackling the current crisis.

Councillor Scott Farmer, leader of Stirling Council, said: “It’s always important the council supports this day to remember our workers and those around the world who have lost their lives at work and this year will be no different despite the postponement of the traditional ceremony at Old Viewforth.

“We may not be physically there with our trade union partners to pause and reflect, but that won’t prevent us remembering our fallen workers and saluting our Stirling heroes who are saving lives and delivering essential services in these trying times.”

Deputy leader Cllr Danny Gibson added: “International Workers’ Memorial Day allows us to commemorate workers around the world who have sadly lost their lives and reaffirm our commitment to the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce.

“In these unprecedented times, this year’s event takes on added importance as we pay tribute to the dedication, commitment and compassion of council staff and other workers across Stirling who have risen to the challenge during the current crisis.”