Workers’ Memorial Day 2021
By Dennis R. Pierce
BLET National President
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, April 28 — Workers’ Memorial Day is a time for all workers to remember and honor those who have lost their lives in the workplace, and to stand up to protect those on the job today. April 28 was chosen for Workers Memorial Day, in part, because it is the anniversary of the founding of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and is the date of a similar remembrance established by the Canadian government. Trade unionists around the world now mark April 28 as an international day of mourning. And mourning is what we must do on this day, while never forgetting to fight for safer workplaces for all workers.
On the BLET website, you will find our Memorial Page (www.ble-t.org/memorial.asp). There we recognize our BLET Brothers and Sisters who have lost their lives in the line of duty. On this somber day, I ask you to join me in taking a moment to remember these Brothers and Sisters, as well as all railroaders and other workers who have been killed or injured on the job in the past year.
This is the second Workers’ Memorial Day that has come to pass during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our nation’s essential workers have been on the front lines battling this virus and putting their lives at risk to keep our nation safe, often without the personal protective equipment necessary to insure their own safety. Our locomotive engineers and trainmen are among these essential workers, moving the freight and the passengers necessary to keep the lifeblood of America flowing. Tragically, we have lost a dozen member to the virus over the past 12 months.
I am proud to salute our freight railroad members, who move the products that stock the shelves at our nation’s grocery stores and haul the heavy bulk commodities that keep the lights on. In many large cities, our passenger/commuter railroaders operate the trains that are the primary means of transportation for key medical personnel who are leading the charge against the coronavirus in our nation’s hospitals.
I urge you to take a moment today to remember those who have been killed or injured on the job in the past year. I would also ask that you get involved with your union and become active and aware. Educate yourself about the issues in Washington D.C. that impact your job and your safety and join us in our fight to improve workplace safety for all American workers.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
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