PEOPLE who have died through their line of work during the year of the pandemic were remembered at a special commemoration held in Greenock.

Provost Martin Brennan laid a wreath at the ‘Men of the Clyde’ sculpture in Clyde Square on behalf of the people of Inverclyde to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day 2021.

The beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and first lockdown last year meant the annual memorial event had to be cancelled, but the recent easing of restrictions meant a small scale commemoration could take place to honour those who have died in the line of duty.

Council and health and social care staff also joined in with a minute’s silence at 11am.

The theme of International Workers’ Memorial Day 2021 is the fundamental right of health and safety at work.

Council chief executive Aubrey Fawcett says this year's commemoration has added poignancy due to the tragic events of the last 12 months.

He said: “Workers’ Memorial Day is important every year but perhaps the past year may have brought it into sharper focus for many especially since, as a council, we have lost colleagues to Covid-19 and our thoughts are with their families, friends and work colleagues.

“It is a chance to remember our colleagues and to join together to show our joint commitment to protecting ourselves and each other."

Mr Fawcett highlighted the frontline areas council keyworkers have been involved in over the course of the pandemic, such as refuse collection, co-ordinating help for those in need, home care, checking commercial premises are safe for trading and providing registration and burial/cremation services.

He added: “Every service area of the council has contributed to the pandemic response and as such many of our employees have been at risk in similar ways to our colleagues in the NHS, retail and service industries.

“A number of our staff are still suffering from the effects of long Covid and the council will continue to support them in their recovery.

“We remember those who have died at work, here in Inverclyde and further afield.”