The Machinists Union commemorated Workers’ Memorial Day with a private ceremony at the William W. Winpisinger Education & Technology Center in Hollywood, Maryland, recognizing members who lost their lives in the workplace. The past year has been especially difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Names of fallen members were read and a bell was rung after each name, including those of retired members who have passed away.
“It is incredible that in the 21st century, workers are still subject to workplace danger and families are torn by grief when loved ones don’t come home from work,” said IAM International President Bob Martinez.
Speakers at the ceremony included IAM Safety & Health Department Director Michael Oathout, General Vice President Brian Bryant and General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes.
“In shops across this country, IAM members continue to be put at risk from dangerous work environments, including inadequate protective equipment to protect from workplace dangers,” said Bryant. “We owe it to the ones we memorialize here today to make sure we fight like hell to protect the lives of future workers and demand safe shop floors and workplaces.”
Catch of the Day DC Church Senior Pastor Cornel Dunmore, who is retired from the IAM, did the invocation and closing prayer. The ceremony took place at the Lighthouse Monument in the Workers’ Memorial Park. An audience was not present due to physical distancing requirements.