On April 28, the labor movement will observe Workers Memorial Day and the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to remember those who have suffered and died on the job.
While unions and their allies have gained protections and improved safety in the workplace, each year thousands of workers are still killed and millions more injured or diseased because of their jobs – workers like our ATU brother, Jake Schwab, 568-Erie, PA, who was tragically killed in a garage accident in 2014. The 27-year mechanic was forced to work with the wrong tools on an unfamiliar bus from another agency in a garage that fellow workers said had no safety culture.
Now there is all-out assault on workers’ rights and protections by the Trump Administration, Republicans in Congress, CEOs, and business groups. We must fight back.
In response to Jake Schwab’s death, ATU is pushing for passage of the Jake Schwab Worker’s Safety Bill, which was introduced in the Pennsylvania state legislature with strong backing from labor and transit advocates. The bill would extend the safety protections provided by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the state’s public employees not currently covered by OSHA.
We must renew our commitment to the goal of zero preventable accidents in the transit industry, and demand the adoption of an actively pursued and continually reviewed safety culture at every workplace.
WHAT CAN YOUR LOCAL DO ON WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY
- Organize a rally to call for stronger safety and health protections. Demand that elected officials put workers’ well-being ahead of corporate interests.
- Find and attend an organized event in your area.
- Hold a candlelight vigil, memorial service or moment of silence to remember those who have died on the job and highlight job safety problems at workplaces in your community.
- Hold a public meeting with your member of Congress in his or her district. Bring workers and family members who can talk firsthand about the need for strong safety and health protections, and the freedom to join a union.
- Invite the media to your Workers Memorial Day events to increase public awareness of the dangers workers face on the job.
- Check out the AFL-CIO Workers Memorial Day webpage for more information and materials.
Any questions please to contact the office.