Apr 28, 2017 | News Story

On Workers’ Memorial Day, Advocates Mourn Fallen Workers and Call for Further Workplace Training and Safety Protections

Today, workers gathered together to commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day with a Day of Action  remembering workers who lost their lives on the job over the past year, and recommitting to the fight for workplace safety.

The day began at 7 am at Queens Plaza North & 29th Street, where construction and building service workers called out the names of deceased workers, and placed flowers in their memory.

Just before Noon, workers, labor leaders, and clergy came together at DC 37 AFSCME’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan for a reading of the names of all the workers who have died over the past year, with a special dedication to Emergency Medical Technician Yadira Arroyo, who was killed on the job on March 16th. Workers and advocates highlighted the importance of fighting for better working conditions at a time when employers are cutting costs and causing preventable worker deaths.

The NYC CLC, NYCOSH, Build Up NYC, TWU Local 100, and Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics, & Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507 collaborated on the Workers’ Memorial Day event, showing the importance of cross-industrial solidarity in fighting for workplace safety for all workers.

“The loss of life on any job site is a tragedy," said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. "Each day in the United States 13 people die on the job. We cannot look at these fatalities as statistics, but as individuals like EMT Yadira Arroyo, Firefighter William Tolley, and many others who have worked hard to care for themselves and their families. Unsafe working conditions won’t change until we all work together to make them change. Today and every day, let us recommit to doing all we can do honor those we have lost at work, and to advocating for policies designed to protect the health and well-being of all workers.”

Workers’ Memorial Day has been celebrated each April 28th for the past 32 years, providing a designated time for the labor movement to come together to remember the lives of these fallen workers, and to help promote policies to help ensure that workers are able to return home safely after a day's work.