April 28 is Workers Memorial Day
On this day in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect. Each year, on the anniversary, the labor movement comes together to honor our fellow workers, union and nonunion alike, who died a preventable death on the job in the last year.
This past year, 4,764 workers were killed on the job. An estimated 120,000 more died from occupational diseases. Sadly, we know the actual number of lives cut short by employer behavior — whether covert, like cutting health benefits during a pandemic, or overt, like failing to provide adequate PPE — is far greater.
Construction sites remain one of the deadliest places to work in the country. But the neglectful actions of employers of all stripes and in every industry — from Amazon and Tesla to Amy’s Kitchen and McLaren Macomb — impact not just their employees' well-being, but the well-being of workers’ families and the communities in which they live.
Honoring those senselessly lost means standing up in unison to say loud and clear: One workplace death is one too many.
Find a Workers Memorial Day event near you by clicking here.
Read the AFL-CIO’s annual report on worker safety and occupational hazards in all 50 states here.
Red Cross workers are asking for your support
Each year, the labor movement comes together on the anniversary of the passage of Occupational Safety and Health Act to honor the thousands of working people who die each year on the job. The COVID-19 pandemic, employer recklessness, and a strained healthcare system continue to threaten the lives of working people.
This April 28, consider attending a Workers Memorial Day event in your community. You can find the AFL-CIO's Workers Memorial Day toolkit, and more information about the day, here.
This year, for Women's History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making women's history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today's profile is Linda Smith of the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU).
Linda Smith has been a member of OPEIU Local 381 for more than 40 years. She has been the administrative assistant for the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation for 11 years and sits on the Greater Oklahoma City Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women's board as the corresponding secretary. Smith has dedicated her life to helping her union sisters, brothers and siblings.