Safety advocates gear up for Workers Memorial Day
Speeches, rallies, movie screenings and vigils will be among the ways in which people will commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day April 28.
The annual event pays tribute to workers killed on – or because of – the job, and renews the commitment of participants to improve workplace safety and health while recognizing the suffering that worker fatalities cause families and communities. Every year, about 4,400 people are killed at work and 50,000 workers die from occupational diseases.
April 28 is also the day OSHA was established back in 1971.
Speeches and silence
In Washington, D.C., events will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the Department of Labor (DOL) workers’ memorial, with speeches by OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels and Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main. Their remarks, which can be watched via livestream at www.dol.gov/live, will be followed by a moment of silence.
Southern Californians can make their way to UCLA for the the Los Angeles premiere of the award-winning documentary "A Day's Work." In Lafayette, Indiana, a Candlelight Vigil.Will be held at the Plumbers & Steamftters Union Hall. In Boston, Massachusetts, families are encouraged to bring enlarged photos of their loved ones to a noontime gathering in front of State House on 24 Beacon Street. And in Duluth, Minnesota, an AFL-CIO Worker's Memorial pancake breakfast will be followed by a tree planting ceremony.
Find an event near you
The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) also provides a state-by-state listing of Workers Memorial Day activities:
California ● Connecticut ● Florida ● Illinois ● Indiana Iowa ● Maryland ● Massachusetts ● Minnesota ● MIssouri Nebraska ● New Hampshire ● New Jersey ● New York Ohio ● Oklahoma ● Oregon ● Pennsylvania ● Rhode Island ● Tennessee Texas ● Washington ● West Virginia ● Wisconsin ● Wyoming
An "all-out assault"
The AFL-CIO, on its website, points out that many job hazards remain unregulated and uncontrolled.
“This year we will come together to call for work in this country that is safe and healthy and pays fair wages. We will celebrate the victories won by working people and commit to fighting until all workers have safe jobs and the freedom to form unions without the threat of retaliation.”
“Business groups have launched an all-out assault on working people, seeking to roll back existing protections and rights, and to block new safeguards. We have fought back, joining with worker centers, local activists and other partners to defend and advance these hard-won gains. Please join us on Workers Memorial Day as we continue the fight for safe jobs.