Although decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions, the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous.
Each year more than 56,000 workers die from job-related injuries and illnesses and another six million are injured. The unions of the AFL-CIO remember these workers every year on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day.
This year, on April 28 at 6 p.m., the IAM will remember those members who died on the job during a ceremony at William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. The IAM Workers’ Memorial Lighthouse was dedicated during the 2001 annual Safety and Health Conference and has a special place on the grounds of the Winpisinger Center’s Memorial Park. Names of fallen workers are immortalized on bricks around its base inscribed with their name and date of death.
The first Workers’ Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada.
Every year, hundreds of communities and 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.
Click here for more information about the Machinists’ commemoration plans.