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Honor Fallen Workers, Fight for Job Safety on Workers Memorial Day

Honor Fallen Workers, Fight for Job Safety on Workers Memorial Day

In hundreds of events around the nation on Workers Memorial Day, April 28, workers will gather together at worksites, city parks, houses of worship and local and state government offices to remember those who have lost their lives on the job and demand strong safety laws and tough enforcement of those laws.

In Cumberland, Md., union, faith and community activists will hold a prayer vigil for workers killed and hurt on the job. In Tucson, Ariz., the Pima Area Labor Federation will honor fallen workers and call on state and national lawmakers to make job safety a priority.

Click here to find a Workers Memorial Day event near you or to register an event.

In 2009 (the latest figures available), 4,340 workers were killed on the job and another 50,000 to 60,000 died of occupational diseases. More than 4.1 million workplace injuries and illnesses were reported in private and state and local workplaces.

The 2011 edition of the AFL-CIO’s “Death on the Job” report on the state of safety for the nation’s workers will be released. It includes a state-by-state look at job deaths and injuries, a demographic breakdown of workers killed and hurt on the job, an in-depth look at job safety enforcement and more.

With the Occupational Safety and Health Act reaching its 40th anniversary April 28, the Obama administration is refocusing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration on protecting workers and enforcing safety laws after years of neglect by the Bush administration.

However, much work remains to do be done in addressing new hazards and enforcing safety and health laws. (Click here for a fact sheet.)

Attacks on job safety at the federal and state levels are putting workers’ lives in jeopardy. House Republican budget-cutters are working to make deep cuts to OSHA to help fund tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. In states across the country, many lawmakers are scaling back safety protections. Legislators in no fewer than 10 states have launched attacks on workplace safety laws.

Find a local Workers Memorial Day event here and click here to find Workers Memorial Day resources, including a flier, fact sheets and state-by-state safety and health profiles.

This post was originally published by the AFL-CIO.

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Photo from Saad Akhtar via flickr
Written by Mike Hall, a blogger for the AFL-CIO

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14 comments

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9:39PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

thanks for the article.

1:25PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

thanks

9:49AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Across most of the world, May Day is Workers day - the first Monday in Sept. was holiday was instituted to get people away from a date associated with labour rights and the Left. The U.S. invented it and Canada - no surprise here - signed on.

In my view, the Sept. day should be eliminated, with May 1st reinstated and April 28th linked to it for the remembrance of workers killed on the job. While capitalists invest their money (and all too frequently ours which somehow got into their pockets), workers invest their lives.

8:53AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

So why not honor these fallen on Labor Day, the more appropriate holiday?

7:22AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Where are the protests against out-sourcing and off-shoring? Why weren't any scheduled for this day?

Corporations have over-powered our government which now believes that out-sourcing and off-shoring is inevitable and necessary with expectations that the middle class should just fall on their swords.

The eroding of U.S. jobs from out-sourcing and off-shoring will continue and measures to cut spending will only reduce the deficit, which is a comparatively minor player for fixing the economy and U.S. salary destruction.

The financial collapse borders on national security with the loss of our middle class tax base and yet this nation does nothing, not even protest against out-sourcing and off-shoring and demand it be restricted by whatever method. International businesses are doing the un-American activity of destroying U.S. salaries, U.S. businesses that hire within this country, and destroying the U.S. marketplace as an end result.

Infrastructure spending and tax breaks will not create enough jobs to keep up with out-sourcing and off-shoring.

Unless we begin grass roots efforts to protest out-sourcing and off-shoring of U.S. jobs we will deserve what we get.

If nothing is done, it will have to get a lot worse before it gets better.

7:01AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

The sad thing we must remember today is that recent anti-union legislation passed in places like Wisconsin reduces the ability of workers to ensure their workplaces are safe and healthy.

The result is that we will see more workers killed or injured on the job.

We are returning to work conditions that existed a hundred years ago. Shame! Shame! Shame!

6:57AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Victoria BC Canada...rally at centennial square to honor our fellow workers injured or killed at work. Event starts at 9:00 am

6:35AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Robin, Memorial Day was originally about workers and Labor. The day was co-opted, as they so often are, by assigning it another meaning, this one 'patriotic.' How could someone dare be against the troops, oh my!? Do you think it was an accident that the Haymarket martyrs rallied on May 4, 1886? There was no Memorial Day for 'those fallen in battle' then. It was about Labor. Study history.

4:25AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

My father's death in 1956 was a workman's compensation case. He taught microbiology at NYU Medical School. The class had been told to put broken glassware in the garbage and put only dirty but intact glassware to be washed. My father got cut on broken glassware mixed in with the dirty glassware to be washed and came down with mononeuclosis since that was the micro-organism for that week's lab.

3:28AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Sorry, I find this very disturbing. Memorial day is to honor those who made the sacrifice to wear a uniform and gave their all for this country. While I respect those who lost their lives doing their regular jobs due to unsafe conditions, Labor day would be a better place for this memorial. This is for our Military who are already considered second class citizens in this country. This is the wrong thing to do!

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