Monday, April 29, 2013

Observing Workers' Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day was on Sunday and while Teamsters nationwide honored their fallen co-workers in a variety of ways, other locals are gearing up for their own events now. Every year the labor movement commemorates Workers’ Memorial Day as a day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe workplaces.

On Tuesday, April 30, Workers’ Memorial Day will be observed in New York City at the site where Anthony Nahr, a Teamster parking attendant and member of Local 272, drowned during Hurricane Sandy. The event will be an opportunity to mourn the loss of Nahr as well as the many others who lost their lives at work or because of the work they do, but it will also highlight the continued need for regulations protecting workers and ensuring that when the workday ends, every worker returns home safe and healthy.

The event will take place from 1-2 p.m. on April 30 at 92 Laight St. (at West St.) in New York City, 10013. Participants include the New York City Central Labor Council, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), AFL-CIO and the Greater New York Labor Religion Coalition.

Other events were held within the last few days, including one event at Teamsters Local 404 in Springfield, Mass. Here’s more from a story written on the Massachusetts events:

Union officials and other labor leaders gathered Thursday to remember fallen police officers, firefighters, soldiers and others killed in the line of work on Workers’ Memorial Day.

The event is an international day of mourning for those who have died in the workplace, although some take the occasion to commemorate the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was approved by Congress in 1970.

Speakers read the names of 41 workers in Massachusetts who died on the job in 2012 and early 2013. They included Springfield police officer Kevin Ambrose, a 36-year veteran of the force who was shot to death in June 2012 while responding to a call for a domestic disturbance at an apartment on Lawton Street.

Firefighters and fishermen made up a good part of the list, along with several tree workers. It also included three members of the armed services who died in Afghanistan.