Today the United Steelworkers honors the lives of our sisters and brothers who paid the ultimate sacrifice doing what all of us take great pride in doing every day: working.
USW International Vice President Fred Redmond said: "Every year on this day, Workers Memorial Day, we honor our fellow union brothers and sisters. Every year on this day we renew our pledge to keep fighting to improve health and safety conditions on the job so that hopefully, one day, the list of names we read will be empty.
But this year, especially, we're reminded that our work is far from done. Sadly, the list is once again far too long. The number of workplace accidents is still far too great." Click here to read Vice President Redmond's entire speech.
The USW honored its fallen 34 sisters and brothers with a memorial ceremony at its Pittsburgh headquarters and called on workers everywhere to join the union in fighting for tougher worker safety and health laws, including urging members of Congress to support the Protecting America's Workers Act (H.R. 2067, S. 1580.) This bill would, among other things:
- Extend OSHA coverage to all workers;
- Strengthen anti-discrimination protections;
- Increase civil and criminal penalties on employers for job safety violations, and
- Enhance worker and union rights.
In the wake of the Massey mine disaster that killed 29 miners in West Virginia, Congress also is examining whether there are deficiencies in the Mine Safety and Health Act that need to be addressed. Click here to view a video of USW International President Leo W. Gerard talk about the desperate need to improve worker safety laws and penalties for violators.
Click here for more on the legislation and other Worker Memorial Day information.
The seven USW brothers and sisters killed at the recent Tesoro refinery explosion were among those honored today. Click here for more on the Tesoro tragedy and USW's fight for justice in the oil industry.