Dear Teamster Brothers and Sisters:
On April 28, 2021, the Teamsters Union, along with others in the labor movement, will observe the international Workers’ Memorial Day. This day is dedicated to honoring workers who have been killed and injured on the job and to renewing the fight for strong safety and health protections.
Over 5,000 workers were killed on the job in 2019. Another 50,000 to 60,000 workers died from occupational diseases. This is the fifth consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities. A worker died every 99 minutes from a work-related injury in 2019. Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event at 2,122, accounting for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities.
Fifty years ago, on April 28, the tireless efforts of the labor movement to draw significant attention to work-related deaths and injuries, organizing for safer working conditions, and demanded action from their government resulted in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The Act requires that employers provide a safe and healthy workplace “free from recognized hazards.” The labor movement continues to fight for fulfilling this promise for all workers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Teamster members in various sectors were in harm’s way as frontline and essential workers.
This Workers’ Memorial Day, I urge you to get involved and organize actions, activities, digital campaigns, or other observances in your workplace and community to shine a light on the toll of work-related deaths and injuries while honoring valiant Teamster members who are essential and in the frontlines during the pandemic.
Resources in support of Workers’ Memorial Day, including digital posters and social media graphics, along with COVID-19 related factsheets, can be found on the Teamster Safety and Health webpage.
Please let the IBT Safety and Health Department know about your events by completing the ‘event form’ on the website, emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (202) 624-6960.
On April 28, 2021, let us join together to honor our fallen Brothers and Sisters and renew the promise to fight for safe jobs for all workers.
Mourn for the Dead. Fight for the Living.
Lamont Byrd, Director
Safety and Health Department