Workers Memorial Day 2020


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

A message from Business Manager, Jordan Adams

April 27, 2020

Workplace safety is everyone’s Right. We all deserve to know that we are going to make it home at the end of the day. This year, Local 71 has fought hard for workplace safety. Whether hazardous materials, equipment, weather conditions, or pandemic flu, Local 71 has engaged with employers in the best interest of our members.

Last year, Alaska ranked dead last (50th) having the most Workplace Fatalities.  2018 brought 321 fatal injuries on the job, according Department of Labor, Research & Analysis Division. This year, Alaska is still #2 on the list. And, Laborers ranked number one nation-wide, with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses2. This is unacceptable.

We have fought hard to ensure safe workplaces.  We have won protections that have made jobs safer, saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries and illnesses. 2020 has made it clear that 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 remember those who were lost or injured on the job:

  • Before your shift, or on your break, take a moment.
  • Remember their names.
  • 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.
  • Sign the pledge card included with this letter.

May Day, on 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 who were 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.

Working people deserve safe jobs, and they deserve them now. We must protect working people’s lives and health. One of our very own flaggers was struck by a vehicle while on duty in 2018. We continue to seek measures for materials exposure relief, and personal protective equipment. The COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted the many reasons that representation on the job matters now.

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 your Union is in your corner.  These two important days are days to remember. Most importantly, we must not forget a history we should never repeat.

In your service,

Jordan Adams

Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer for Local 71

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