Decades of struggle by members of the IAMAW and other international unions and their members have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more are injured or diseased because of their jobs. The IAMAW and other international unions of the AFL-CIO remember these workers on April 28, Workers Memorial Day. This years theme is: Good Jobs. Safe Jobs. For All. It’s Time.
The first Workers Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada. Every year, people in hundreds of communities and at worksites recognize workers who have been killed or injured on the job. Trade unionists around the world now mark April 28 as an International Day of Mourning.
The IAMAW Workers’ Memorial was dedicated in August of 2001 at William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center located in Hollywood, Maryland. At the dedication R. Thomas Buffenbarger, IAMAW International President, spoke these words. “Tears of tragedy fuel our fight for workers’ safety. Only when the last tear falls will our fight be finished.”
Bricks surrounding the Memorial bear the names of 249 fallen IAMAW members from the U.S. Canada along with bricks donated from lodges and proud members of the IAMAW. This April 28th IAMAW members who lost their lives while on the job in 2007 will be remembered by placing twelve bricks bearing their names. Whenever members attend educational classes at WWW, the names surrounding the Memorial remind us that our fight has not yet ended and our dedication to safety and health in the workplace must continue.
If you wish to submit the name of an IAM member who lost their life while on the job, or wish to purchase a brick, click IAMAW Workers’ Memorial above and print the appropriate order form or contact the IAM Safety and Health Department at 301-967-4707 for the details.
Here are some materials and information to help you participate in this years Workers Memorial Day:
Workers Memorial Day 2008 Materials: (Revised April 21, 2008)
Here are some other ways we honor workers who have been killed or injured on the job: