April 20, 2007 Volume 108 Number 8

Labor will honor Oregon workers killed on the job

“Mourn for the Dead. Fight Like Hell For The Living.”

Mother Jones’s most famous quotation has been at the heart of each Workers Memorial Day since it was first observed in 1989. Workers Memorial Day is a day each year when America’s workers and their unions honor the thousands of men and women killed on the job and the hundreds of thousands more hurt or made ill by workplace hazards.

On this Workers Memorial Day, April 28, events and actions around the nation also will celebrate the more than a quarter of a million working men and women alive today because of the far-reaching and successful workplace safety battles workers and their unions have won.

The national AFL-CIO estimates that more than 324,000 workers now can say their lives have been saved since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970.

Unfortunately, on an average day in the United States, 152 people still lose their lives as a result of workplace injuries and diseases, and another 11,780 are injured, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In Oregon, the AFL-CIO will hold a memorial rally at noon on Friday, April 27, on the steps of the State Capitol in Salem. The keynote speaker will be Gov. Ted Kulongoski. The memorial service will include a reading of the names of the 69 workers killed on the job in Oregon in 2006, as well as the 19 Oregon soldiers killed in military service last year.

The Oregon AFL-CIO also is asking all union members to make arrangements with their employers to observe a moment of silence during their workday. Everyone is invited to the ceremony in Salem.

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