Today, 150 people will likely be killed on the job or die from job-related illnesses and disease. That deadly toll will continue tomorrow and the next day and the next until the nation “renews the commitment to protect workers from injury, disease and death,” and makes it a high priority, says the 2013 edition of the AFL-CIO’s Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.
When Bill Brockmiller, president of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO, was asked why he and several dozen union and community members and local officials in La Crosse were taking part in Workers Memorial Day ceremonies Sunday, he told WXOW-TV:
You have a right to go to work and earn your daily bread, support your family and come back home at night. So when that doesn't happen, when you lose your life in the pursuit of a paycheck, I think we owe it to those people, and to their family, those they leave behind, to honor that sacrifice.
Sunday, April 28, marks Workers Memorial Day. In prayer services, vigils and other ceremonies around the nation, union members, workplace safety activists and community, faith and other allies will honor and remember workers killed and injured on the job, from the 15—including 12 first responders—killed in the recent West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion to the construction worker, store clerk and others who die on the job daily, but who we hear little about.
As we prepare for Workers Memorial Day April 28, here are some recent news articles that highlight the pressing need for strengthening and enforcing workplace safety rules and highlighting the fact our work is not done.
Workplace deaths and injuries vary from the agricultural industry to reality TV. Read the stories after the jump.
This April 28 marks the 24th Workers Memorial Day, and around the country workers, workplace safety activists, community and faith leaders will honor the men and women killed on the job and renew their commitment to the continuing campaign for strong job safety laws and tough enforcement of those laws.
The theme this year is “Safe Jobs, Save Lives. Make Your Voice Heard.” You can prepare for Workers Memorial Day with fact sheets in English and Spanish, posters and other materials available here. Also local unions, central labor councils and other labor groups soon will be adding their events to our Local Action calendar. Be sure to keep an eye on that.
The AFL-CIO supports the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and urges the Senate to support cloture and to vote for her confirmation. As President Obama's nominee for the appeals court, Halligan has an impressive record in public service. Halligan served as the solicitor general for the state of New York and as general counsel for the New York County District Attorney’s office. She has garnered broad support, ranging from law enforcement groups, appellate advocates and women’s bar associations.
A replacement worker at American Crystal Sugar Co.’s East Grand Forks, Minn., plant was seriously injured last month, suffering severe burns when he was hit with hot liquid that spewed from a tank, according to news reports.
The company has been operating with replacement workers since it locked out its highly trained 1,300 member workforce in August 2011. The locked-out workers are members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) and worked at plants in Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota.
Today marks a sad anniversary for worker safety. Two years ago today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) submitted the silica dust standard to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).