State labor councils to honor fallen workers on Workers’ Memorial Day
Workers’ Memorial Day, Illinois Labor Councils and their affiliated unions will hold ceremonies all across the state April 28 to honor fellow workers who have died on the job as well as those who have been injured or suffered illnesses from work related causes.
“The Illinois AFL-CIO and our member unions are committed to ensuring safe working conditions for all Illinois workers,” said Michael T. Carrigan, president of the one million-member State Labor Federation. “At the state level we work on an on-going basis with state lawmakers and the Department of Labor to establish laws that protect workers and to make sure those laws are properly enforced.”
The recent mine tragedy in West Virginia will be top of mind for union members gathering to pay respects. The mining disaster that claimed the lives of 29 coal miners is an ominous reminder of how important safety rules, safety training and strict enforcement is to potentially dangerous work sites.
“Illinois has in place strong workplace safety rules, including up-to-date mining regulations, but without the funding for authoritative staff to monitor and enforce the laws they are irrelevant,” added Carrigan. “We must demand our state leaders and our Congress men and women fight to put people before profits and properly fund and give credence to our regulatory agencies.”
Today, the national AFL-CIO releases its annual report Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect. The report offers specific data on workplace safety at the national and state levels. The report can be seen in full at www.aflcio.org/issues/safety/memorial/.
This will be the 21st annual Workers’ Memorial Day. April 28 was chosen because it marks the day the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) went into effect in the United States (April 28, 1971).
All Workers’ Memorial Day events in Illinois are listed on the following page.
Illinois Workers’ Memorial Events Alton – Wednesday, April 28, the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor Workers’ Memorial Day Services 7 p.m., beginning in the Muenstermann Building in Gordon F. Moore Community Park, Highway 140 and Park Road, Alton. Scheduled to speak: Marty St. Peters, president, Greater Madison County Federation.
Bloomington – Wednesday, April 28, Worker Memorial Service, 6:00 a.m., Illinois State University Hovey Hall. Scheduled to speak: Dr. Bowman, president, Illinos State University.
Decatur – Wednesday, April 28, Memorial Service, 5:00 p.m. on the northwest corner of the Macon County Courthouse lawn, located at 253 West Wood Street in downtown Decatur.
Galesburg – Wednesday, April 28, Memorial Service at 5:30 p.m. at the Galesburg Labor Temple, 2243 Grand, Galesburg. OSHA representative will be speaking.
Joliet – Friday, April 30, Workers’ Memorial Dinner, 6:30 p.m., IBEW Local 176 west banquet hall, 1100 Northeast Frontage Road, Joliet.
Peoria – Wednesday, April 28, meeting at Peoria Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson, Peoria at 5:30 p.m. to walk to the Workers’ Memorial site on Fulton Street for a candlelight service and reading of the names of those who died within the last year.
Rock Island – Wednesday, April 28, Ceremony at 3:30 p.m., United Steelworkers, Local 105 Hall, 880 Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, Iowa. Speaker: Skip McGill, president, USW Local 105.
Rockford – Wednesday, April 28, Rockford Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony. Meet at the Workers’ Memorial Day Tablets located behind the E.J. ‘Zeke’ Giorgi Building, 200 South Wyman Street, Rockford at 5 p.m. for a short ceremony and wreath dedication. Refreshments will be served immediately following the ceremony.
Springfield – Wednesday, April 28, 5:00 p.m. Memorial Service in the Illinois State Library Atrium, 300 South 2nd Street.
Spring Valley – Wednesday, April 28, Workers’ Memorial public service announcements to run on local radio stations and an editorial in area newspapers.
• Workers’ Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing: Friday, June 11, Spring Creek Golf Club, I-80 Exit 70, Spring Valley.
• Workers’ Memorial Scholarships: $1000 given to each eligible dependent of members who have been either killed or permanently injured on the job who were affiliated with the Illinois Valley Federation of Labor.