Workers Memorial Day 2012At a construction site in New Jersey, a train depot in Illinois, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and other locations in the U.S., Canada and hundreds of other countries, ceremonies will be held in late April and early May to commemorate Worker’s Memorial Day 2013 (in Canada it’s known as Workers’ Day of Mourning).

Workers across many industries will be involved in events. A service to honor those killed or injured in the workplace is being sponsored by the County of Middlesex, Board of Chosen Freeholders and being held, fittingly, at a construction site in Sayreville, NJ at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 26.

A breakfast panel discussion at Pensabene's Casa Grande Restaurant in Syracuse, NY will focus on this year’s theme, “What Keeps Us Alive.” The ceremony following the discussion will include the names of workers who died on the job and honoring of workplace health and safety champions in the community.

Names of workplace fatality victims will also be read at a Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony on April 26 at 10 a.m. at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado. The approximately 60 people remembered worked in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.

In Central Illinois, local members of organized labor will march on Monday evening to honor the fallen workers from their region.

A hardhat procession into New York’s historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral will be the beginning of a “Wear Your Hardhats” memorial service on May 7th for construction workers killed and injured on worksites during 2012 and early 2013.

These are just a sampling of the commemorative events that are scheduled.

For workers or companies looking for ideas on how to observe the day, the United Steelworkers union (USW) has the following suggestions:

  • Request your employer to commit to a minute of silence for workers who’ve died on the job
  • Fly the flag at half staff for the day/week or maybe lay a wreath at the flag pole or plant entrance
  • Make April 28th a Safety Day to do some training
  • Distribute Workers Memorial Day posters, stickers and information from the AFL-CIO
  • Hold a candle light ceremony remembering the fallen workers
  • Erect a permanent memorial at the Union hall or wall of remembrance
  • Contact the family of the lost workers offering condolence
  • Join in with the Area Labor Council or Federation ceremony
  • Build your ceremony using this checklist