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Workers' Memorial Day - April 28, 2017

Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living

Safe Jobs, Every Worker’s Right

The Teamsters Union, and trade unionists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers' Memorial Day — an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work.

Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace injuries and illnesses, and to promote the fight for improving health and safety at each and every workplace. The slogan for the day is "Safe Jobs, Every Worker’s Right."

To help mark this important day, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces.


Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous.

Since 1989, the U.S. labor movement has observed Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Workers' Memorial Day has been officially endorsed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), and is now observed in nearly 100 countries.

In 2015, 4,836 workers were killed on the job and 50,000 workers died from occupational diseases while millions more were injured -- workers like the countless immigrants who come to this country to earn enough money for a better life for their families. 

Each year, millions of workers are injured – like truck drivers, sanitation workers and warehouse workers who suffer epidemic rates of repetitive motion injuries.

In 2015, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers, which occurred at a rate of 3.0 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers.

An estimated 752,600 injury and illness cases were reported in 2015 among the approximately 18.4 million state and local government workers—for example, elementary and secondary schools, hospitals, and police or fire protection—resulting in a rate of 5.1 cases per 100 full-time workers.


To help mark this important day, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces:

Statement from James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President

Letter from LaMont Byrd, Teamsters Safety and Health Director

Tell Us About Your Event

Workplace Fatality Report

Safety and Health Department Regulatory and Policy Activities

A Voice at Work: 106 Years After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Fact Sheet for Workers' Memorial Day Activities

General Talking Points

Sample Letter to the Editor

Sample Media Advisory

Sample Press Release After Event

A Collection of Workers' Memorials

Fact Sheet on Your Rights as a Whistleblower

Fact Sheet on Whistleblower Protection for Commercial Motor Carrier Workers

Fact Sheet on Whistleblower Protection for Railroad Employees

OSHA Memo on Employer Safety Incentive and Disincentive Policies

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