Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On April 28, the unions of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) will once again observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to renew the fight for safe jobs, especially during the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While coming together to remember those who have lost their lives and to demand safe workplaces and good jobs for all workers are the centerpieces of Workers Memorial Day, extra precautions will be necessary when planning for any event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The AFL-CIO will continue to organize and demand safe workplaces during this public health crisis. Anyone with a nontraditional Workers Memorial Day event idea may share it with the AFL-CIO at [email protected]. Examples of events that incorporate safe public health practices include:
- Organize an online campaign to call for stronger safety and health protections using our digital toolkit.
- Hold a virtual candlelight vigil.
- Host a phone call or webinar with elected officials in their districts.
- Create a photo campaign on social media to remember workers who have been killed on the job and lift up the memory of their lives.
- If you are working on the front lines during the outbreak, organize an event at your workplace to stand together to protect all workers’ right to a safe job and hold your employer accountable for keeping you safe.
- Come together in person once this pandemic crisis is over. As a labor movement, we Mourn for the Dead and Fight for the Living on April 28, and every day of the year.
In 1989, the AFL-CIO declared April 28 Workers Memorial Day to honor the working people killed and injured on the job every year. April 28th is the anniversary of the date the Occupational Safety and Health (OSA) Act of 1970 took effect, and when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed in 1971.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) works to improve the lives of working people, and is the democratic and voluntary federation of 55 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women. To learn more about the AFL-CIO, visit https://aflcio.org/.
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) Summary released in December of 2019 found that there were 5,250 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2018, a 2 percent increase from the 5,147 in 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. To learn more about the CFOI, visit www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi1.htm.
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