April 17, 2009 Volume 110 Number 8

Governor to dedicate new Fallen Workers Memorial

The Oregon AFL-CIO will hold a memorial service at the new Fallen Workers Memorial on the Capitol Mall in Salem at noon Tuesday, April 28 — Workers Memorial Day.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski will speak and dedicate the permanent memorial located near the main entrance of the Labor and Industries Building at 350 Winter St. NE.

The memorial service will include the reading of the names of the 62 Oregon workers killed on the job in 2008, as well as Oregon soldiers killed in military service last year. (A list of those names appears on Pages 6 and 7 of this issue.) The Oregon AFL-CIO also is asking union members to make arrangements with their employers to observe a moment of silence that day.

Workers Memorial Day was enacted by the AFL-CIO in 1989 to remember workers killed or injured on the job. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada.

The Oregon AFL-CIO’s Safety and Health Committee has been working for four years (finding a location, securing permits, and raising cash) to erect a memorial in Oregon. The idea started in 2005 with a resolution passed at the state labor federation’s convention. Labor unions have played a role in helping construct more than 100 permanent memorials nationwide.

Ground finally was broken in Salem the week of Feb. 23. The memorial consists of a large boulder within a landscaped sitting area in front of the L&I building. The boulder has a union-made bronze plaque attached to it with the inscription: “In memory of Oregon’s working men and women who suffered injury or loss of life on the job. MOURN FOR THE DEAD, FIGHT FOR THE LIVING. Workers Memorial Day, April 28. Donated to the State of Oregon by the working men and women of the Oregon AFL-CIO”

To date, $37,500 of the $49,765 cost has been collected for the Fallen Workers Memorial. Donations can be sent to: Oregon AFL-CIO, Worker Memorial Fund 2110 State St. Salem, OR 97301.

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