Workers Memorial Day Honors Those Injured, Killed on the Job

Workers' Memorial Day

A memorial for fallen workers on April 28, led by Randy Rodriguez, CWA Local 6222.

Thousands of CWA members, safety and health activists and other union members joined in vigils, rallied at state capitols for stronger workplace protections and held other events to mark Workers' Memorial Day on April 28.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis issued a statement on behalf of the Obama administration: "It is our duty to ensure that all workers come home safely at the end of each workday, and we stand behind our firm conviction that workplace injuries and fatalities are entirely preventable.

"I urge all Americans to raise their voices in support of workers' right to a safe and healthful workplace. In the 41 years since the Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted, we have made tremendous progress, but our steadfast mission to make every job in America a safe job must continue. One workplace death is too many."

Houston, Texas, union members, including members of CWA Local 6222, marked Workers' Memorial Day by reading the names of Houston area workers who had been killed on the job over the past year. Randy Rodriguez, who chairs the local's Occupational Safety and Health Committee, led the commemoration, and was joined by Harris County AFL-CIO leaders and other activists. The ceremony included a presentation by Katherine Rodriguez whose father died in 2004 after suffering severe injuries and burns while working at the BP Texas City refinery.

"He and two co-workers were on a scaffold, working on a water pump. Between the three of them, they had more than 70 years of experience on the job," she said.

Read her op-ed published by the Houston Chronicle here.