NYC Workers, Labor Leaders and Electeds Commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day
Event Honors New York City Workers Who Died or Suffered Injuries or Illnesses on the Job
Thursday, April 28, 2022 - New York City workers, labor leaders, elected officials, clergy and community members gathered today at City Hall Park to mark Workers’ Memorial Day, honoring dozens of workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job in our City over the past year. The annual commemoration was organized by the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH).
At least 46 workers have died on the job in New York City since last year’s commemoration. Once again, construction was the most dangerous industry, with at least 15 known fatalities. The second most dangerous occupation was delivery workers, with at least 12 known fatalities.
Nationally, one of the leading causes of death on the job is workplace violence, accounting for one out of every seven workplace deaths. Here in New York City, since April 28th, 2021 at least 13 New Yorkers have lost their lives as a result of workplace violence, with victims across a wide range of occupations and backgrounds including delivery workers, drivers, an attorney, retail workers, a DJ, a can collector, a mechanic, and police officers.
At the commemoration, NYC Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor Chair Carmen De La Rosa spoke about the need for legislation that will mandate NYC employers to report all workplace fatalities to the City. Currently, there is no primary or official source from which this information can be collected. In compiling our list for Workers’ Memorial Day the NYC CLC and NYCOSH are forced to rely on media reports, information from our affiliates and community organizations, and word of mouth.
“Today, all over the world, workers are commemorating those who have died or suffered injuries or illnesses (including COVID-19) while on the job,” said Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa (CD-10). “Workers' Memorial Day, April 28, is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, a landmark moment for workers rights in this country. Since its inception in 1989, the AFL-CIO declared Workers' Memorial Day a day to recognize the sacrifices made by all essential workers on the front lines, and a moment to renew our fight for strong safety and health protections for all working people. I have introduced legislation to address the lack of reporting on workplace fatalities that occur in this city, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in labor to advance the rights and protections of all workers.”
“All of our City’s workers have the right to a safe workplace, and to return home unharmed at the end of the day,” said NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO President Vincent Alvarez. “Each year on Workers’ Memorial Day we gather not only to remember and honor those we have lost, but to renew our fight for strong health and safety protections for all working New Yorkers. We’re grateful to Councilmember De La Rosa for her partnership in calling for strong reporting requirements that will help us hold employers accountable for dangerous conditions in the workplace.”
“Every worker who dies on the job is one worker too many. We need to thoroughly investigate each and every incident to see what can be done to prevent more fatalities among New York’s working people. Councilmember De La Rosa’s legislation—which she and Senator Jessica Ramos championed during her time in the Assembly for construction workers—will help us investigate these incidents by providing information that could prevent these fatalities in the future,” said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of NYCOSH.
For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2022
Contact: Kate Whalen email@example.com, 347-453-7131