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Call Out for events to celebrate Workers' Rights and Social Justice

31 March 2021

Local groups and artists are being invited to contribute to this year's programme celebrating Workers' Rights and Social Justice Week, taking place from April 26-May 01.

The 2021 programme has once again been moved to an online platform and the call out for participants was made today by Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Derry Trades Union Council. It offers the chance for community and cultural organisations and individual artists to stage a range of events and activities exploring how injustice and inequality has been challenged over the years. The themes for this year's programme are history, education and increased access for communities.

The programme will include a special online exhibition curated by the Tower Museum and an appeal was issued earlier this month for any items relating to workers' rights through the decades to help piece together the story of civil and social change. The Museum programme will feature a number of talks focusing on some of the key figures involved in the trade union movement including James Larkin, James Connolly and Michael Davitt. There will also be a special focus on women's rights as well as the role of the Shirt Factories in progressing women's rights in the workplace.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, today encouraged local groups to get involved in the programme. "The past year has brought new focus on the rights of workers in what has been an unprecedented time of disruption and uncertainty for businesses right across the sectors. We have all had to adjust our ways of working and the future of working practices will see a very different environment emerge, hopefully with the welfare of employees at its core.

"It's timely therefore that we look back on how the landscape has changed over the years in terms of employment rights and how this has brought us to where we are today. It's an opportunity to highlight the importance of protecting those rights and raise awareness within our community that everyone has the right to feel valued and protected in their place of work."

Curator with the Tower Museum Roisin Doherty said: "This year once again we aim to celebrate the contribution of workers, past present and future and explore the growth of the trade Union Movement with a diverse range of online events. Last year despite the challenges of Covid19 there was a high level of interest in taking part in the programme and we are hoping to see a repeat of that this year.

"Derry and Strabane have always had a strong voice it comes to issues of social justice and we have a fascinating archive of materials documenting social change here over the years which we're looking forward to showcasing in our online exhibition. We would like to see how this can be complemented by the input of our creative community in exploring this year's themes associated and linked to the Trade Union Movement both locally and internationally."

Submissions to the programme can be sent to [email protected]