Dear Brothers and Sisters:
On April 28, 2022, the labor movement will observe Workers’ Memorial Day to remember and honor our members and all workers across the globe who have been killed or injured on the job. We urge you to participate in activities that will mourn the loss of life and health, shed light on the risks and hazards that workers are exposed to every day, and energize the fight for strong safety and health protections.
For decades, unions have led the struggle for improved working conditions, dignity, and respect on the job. Unions have won legislation and protections that have made the workplace safer for all workers. Still, millions of workers are injured, diseased, or killed by job hazards each year. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2020, there were close to 5,000 fatal workplaces injuries and close to 4 million recordable injuries and illnesses. Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the fundamental right to and importance of a safe workplace for every worker. The pandemic has been a devastating threat to Teamster members’ lives, most of whom are employed in essential and frontline positions. The IBT Safety and Health Department stepped into action to help safeguard our members by developing fact sheets, guidance documents, informational podcasts, template contract language, and a COVID-19 tool kit containing science-based recommendations and guidance on keeping workers protected from the highly contagious and life-threatening COVID-19 virus. We petitioned employers and regulatory agencies to require prevention measures in all workplaces, including ventilation requirements, personal protective equipment, training, and other measures that shield workers from workplace exposures.
The IBT Safety and Health Department continues to provide technical and regulatory support to our local union affiliates, IBT Trade Divisions, and Conferences, and comprehensive worker safety and health training to our rank-and-file membership and others. A plethora of information, including fact sheets on many safety and health topics and links to training made available via our worker training program, can be accessed via our website at www.teamstersafety.org. We also have a dedicated page with ideas and information to assist you in your Workers’ Memorial Day activities. The IBT Safety and Health Department is here to serve you and invite you to communicate your safety and health concerns with us. Please let the department know about your Workers’ Memorial Day events by completing the ‘Event Form’ on the website, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (202) 624-6960.
On this Workers’ Memorial Day, we join with you in solidarity to provide tools that can help you organize actions, activities, or observances in your workplace and community. We encourage you to reach out to labor activists and others in your community to join planned activities. Make it clear that the labor movement will honor our fallen Brothers and Sisters by defending the protections we have already won and continue to organize in solidarity for safer working conditions.
Organize! Safe Jobs Now!