Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teamsters mourn the dead, fight for the living

Our Teamsters brothers and sisters from
Local 200 in Milwaukee have been to this
memorial  honoring 3 fallen ironworkers
Teamsters will honor fallen workers on April 28, Workers' Memorial Day, a little over a year after 15 workers died in a West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion and more than 1,100 died in the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh.

Sadly, those aren't the only workplace deaths over the past year. Just do a Google news search of 'worker killed' or 'worker died.' You'll read about the oilfield worker killed in a West Texas drilling accident, the Illinois highway worker killed by a sleepy driver, the Aberdeen Proving Grounds worker killed in a grass-cutting accident in Maryland, the construction worker who died on the job in Ottawa. All in the past few days.

An average of 4,400 people are killed every year at work, 50,000 workers die from occupational diseases and millions are injured on the job.

That's why working people throughout the world mourn for the people who were hurt or killed on the job on Workers' Memorial Day. Then they organize, because the best way to make workplaces safe is to make sure workers have the freedom to join in a union.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa is urging members of the Teamsters Union to honor Workers' Memorial Day. Today in a statement he said,
On this Workers’ Memorial Day, we need to join hands to seek stronger safety and health protections and better standards and enforcement.  To quote Mother Jones, a small woman but a giant in the American labor movement, “Mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”
Honor our fallen brothers and sisters at a workers' memorial near you. You can find a list of workers' memorials here. If you hold an event, tell us about it here. Learn more about Worker's Memorial Day here.