Workers Memorial Day — when people from around the world come together to remember those who have been killed, injured and sickened in the workplace, and re-commit to fighting for safer workplaces — is Saturday, April 28. In the United States, this year will be dedicated to fighting back against the Trump administration’s widespread attacks on workplace protections that have been won over the past decades.
All of the accomplishments of recent years — the silica standard, better recordkeeping, coal dust protections, workplace safety and health research, chemical plant investigations, training grants for vulnerable workers — and future protections like standards to protect workers against workplace violence and infectious diseases are at risk. The only thing keeping the Trump administration from further undermining worker protections is a strong labor movement, a strong and united Democratic party, and all Americans who think every worker has the right to come home safe at the end of the working day.
The AFL-CIO is making a Workers Memorial Day Toolkit available to assist workers with planned events or activities,. Their theme this year is “Safe Jobs. Every Worker’s Right.” They’re campaign is highlighting the progress made, the need to protect hard-won protections from threats and rollbacks and work still to be done. The toolkit can be found here. It includes talking points, sample materials for media outreach, worker safety and health facts, state-by-state safety and health data and other information.
But Workers Memorial Day is not just an American event; it’s world-wide — from Argentina to Zimbabwe. To get a better idea of what’s happening around the world (and an inspiring look at poster art, videos and guides from numerous countries) check out the 28 April website from of Hazards magazine and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
So find an event near you — or organize one yourself. And let me know how it turns out.