Remember Workers on April 28th & May 1st


WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY, April 28th & MAY DAY, May 1st:

A message from Business Manager, Jordan Adams

April 24, 2019

Every American has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Hardworking men and women putting in long hours deserve to know that they’re going to make it home at the end of the day. Unfortunately, Alaska now ranks dead last (50th) in Workplace Fatalities, with 33 fatal injuries on the job in 2017, according Department of Labor, Research & Analysis Division. This is unacceptable. These staggering workplace injury numbers are available here:

Unions and our allies have fought hard to ensure safe workplaces—winning protections that have made jobs safer, saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries and illnesses. But our work is not done! 

April 28th each year marks International Workers Memorial Day. On this day we remember workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job. Please take a moment on Monday, April 29th to gather together to remember those who were lost or injured on the job:

  • Gather at a workplace memorial, the breakroom, a flag pole, or take a moment right at your workstations.
  • Remember their names together.
  • Commit to safety on the job – for yourself and others.
  • Commit to point out safety needs on the job to your supervisors and Union Representatives.

May Day, May 1st is also a day of Union remembrance. This is the day we remember The Hay Market Affair in Chicago.  It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb into the public meeting. It would be many years later before an eight-hour work day would become the standard in 1940.

Alaska is in crisis. Working people deserve good, safe jobs, and they deserve them now. We must protect working people’s lives and health. A state-run institution is now notorious for endangerment of workers and has made national news. One of our very own flaggers was struck by a vehicle while on duty last year.

The State of Alaska recently repealed AO 286: Work Place Safety and Economic Security, an order that rewarded safe contractors and punished those who violate OSHA laws.  This order disallowed contractors who endanger Alaskan workers from state service contracts. Now, that door is once again opened to them. We must reinstate these protections.

Representative Josephson has sponsored HB 30: The Abigail Caudle Act.

In 2011, a 26-year-old electrical worker named Abigail Caudle, lost her life to employer- workplace negligence. Her wrongful death warranted compensation; but being single and childless, none was provided to her parents, and they had no legal recourse. This bill rectifies unfairness to workers without children, a spouse, or dependents; and allows for benefits to be provided to the surviving parents or an estate. We hope to see this bill passed.

As Business Manager of your union, I am fighting every day for our member’s rights.  Please let us know if you see, hear, or are subjected to any impropriety on your jobsite. You deserve better, and we’re in your corner.  These two important days are days to remember, but let us never forget a history that is not work repeating.

In your service,

Jordan Adams

Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer for Local 71