Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Workers Memorial Day 2011: APWU Honors Those Killed or Injured on the Job

APWU Web News Article 046-2011, April 20, 2011

Each year, the APWU and the labor movement honors hard-working Americans killed or injured on the job and renews the fight for better health and safety protections in the workplace.

On April 28, the union joins the AFL-CIO in observing Workers Memorial Day on the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). This year’s theme is Safe Jobs Save Lives: Our Work’s Not Done.

Despite the gains that have been made in the past four decades in ensuring safe workplaces, thousands of workers are still killed on the job, and millions more suffer from work-related injuries and illnesses.

“Unregulated and uncontrolled job hazards put workers in serious danger and cost lives,” AWPU Cliff Guffey said. “We must continue the fight to ensure every worker has the right to a safe job.”

This past year, the Postal Service was scrutinized for numerous willful and serious safety violations, including exposing employees to electrical hazards, under-recording illnesses and injuries in the workplace, and risking workers’ health from risks posed by Delivery Bar Code Sorter Machine operation. OSHA fined the USPS millions of dollars for these violations, and inspections are ongoing.

Although the union and our allies have fought hard for tougher enforcement on serious violations, proposed new safeguards for workplace hazards, and won protections that have made jobs safer, many anti-labor representatives are attacking these measures and trying to slash the budget for job safety enforcement and standards.

“No stone must be left unturned in our efforts to protect workers,” Guffey said. “On April 28, let us pause to remember those who have suffered and rededicate ourselves to safety on the job.”

For Workers Memorial Day materials and suggestions for how to organize an observance, please visit the AFL-CIO Web site.

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