It’s a time to pay respect to sisters and brothers in New York who died on the job this year — more than 100, with their stories sent out on the wings of time.
Perhaps you knew, or heard of, the heavy equipment operator, the bridge inspector, the roofer, the loggers, the farmer, the snowmaker, the firefighter, the military cadet on a solo training exercise,or the pregnant auditor, among those who suffered and died.
Workers Memorial Day is a time to honor them, and to use the sadness of their loss to renew efforts for safe workplaces. Unions have worked hard to win protections to make jobs safer. The struggle means creating good jobs in this country that are safe and healthy, against the odds of employers who cut corners to improve profit. It is important to make sure workers have the freedom to form unions.
Each year on April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to honor those lives and to renew efforts for safe workplaces. At the AFL-CIO site, you can find events throughout the state ranging from breakfasts to ceremonies to a fundraising dinner hosted by the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO to raise money to erect a permanent, stone workers memorial statue.
During Saturday’s session of the Representative Assembly being held by NYSUT in Buffalo, delegates will observe a moment of silence for workers who died on the job this year. Each delegate will find a sticker on their chair that says “Safe Jobs Save Lives” that they can use somewhere. A list of the deceased will also be scrolled.
What will you do to honor a fallen worker? Perhaps join or create a health and safety committee at your workplace. Sign petitions for workers rights. Raise concerns.