|IAM Workers’ Memorial at the William W. Winpisinger Education Center.|
Every year on April 28, the IAM and the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who suffered and died on the job. The struggle continues this year to create good jobs that are safe and healthy and to ensure workers have the freedom to form unions.
Four decades ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), codifying every worker’s right to a safe job. Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality–winning protections that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries and illnesses.
But the work is not done. Many job hazards are unregulated and uncontrolled. Some employers continue to cut corners and violate the law, costing lives and putting workers in serious danger. Each year thousands of workers are killed and millions more injured or diseased because of their jobs.
Business groups and the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives continue to block tougher enforcement measures on serious workplace hazards, falsely claiming they kill jobs. They are pushing legislation to make it difficult, if not impossible, to issue needed safeguards to protect workers and the public.
“We must not let them turn back the clock and destroy the progress we have made to make jobs safer and save lives,” said IAM Safety and Health Director Mike Flynn. “Safety laws and regulations don’t kill jobs–but unsafe jobs do kill workers.”