Workers Memorial Day 2022 Sample Letter to the Editor

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To the Editor:

Workers Memorial Day is held each year on April 28th to mourn workers killed and injured on the job. It is also the day we rededicate ourselves to the fight to make our workplaces safer. We still have a long way to go.

In 2020, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, 4,764 workers were killed on the job – one worker every 111 minutes. Another 50,000 to 60,000 workers died from occupational diseases.

Private industry employers reported 2.7 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and close to 600,000 injury and illness cases were reported among state and local government workers. Work injuries involving transportation incidents were the most common fatal event in 2020, accounting for over 37 percent of deaths.

The push for production, an influx of new workers as older, more experienced workers retire, reduced staffing levels, the growing use of subcontracting and outsourcing, mandatory overtime, and changes in technology and work processes all threaten workers’ safety and health. Truck drivers, school bus drivers, distribution center workers, nurses, and numerous other occupations, routinely suffer from their employers’ drive to reduce costs and increase production. The current COVID-19 pandemic has exposed these hard truths and highlighted severe weaknesses in worker protections and health and safety rights afforded under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

The overall decline in the quality of jobs is unlike any we’ve seen in decades. The labor movement is fighting against this trend to ensure that all Americans have a safe job that allows them to support themselves and their families with health care coverage and secure retirement benefits. On April 28th, let’s remember that millions of American workers struggle to support their families, too often being injured or killed. It’s time to stand up and fight to make safe jobs a reality for all. “Safe Jobs for All!”

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