Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 27, 2013

Memorial service to honor workers hurt, killed on job

Workers Memorial Day is held each year on April 28th to mourn workers killed and injured on the job. It is also the day that we rededicate ourselves to the fight to make our workplaces safer.

The Western Maryland Central Labor Council will hold a memorial service on Monday, April 29, in front of Cumberland City Hall at noon. This is open to the public and we encourage everyone to attend.

Speakers will be Ron DeJuliis, Maryland Commissioner of Labor and Matthew Darby of Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP as an expert on Workers’ Compensation law, along with our state and local officers presenting proclamations.

Forty-six years ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act also the Mine and Health Act, promising every worker the right to a safe job.

OSHA and MSHA are now moving to develop and issue new rules on major hazards including silica, cranes and derricks, infectious diseases and coal dust.

The present administration has stepped up job safety enforcement, particularly for employers who repeatedly violate the law. We never want another horrific day as was lost at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn.

Safety laws and regulations don’t kill jobs — but unsafe jobs do kill workers.

On this Workers Memorial Day, we call for an end to the unnecessary deaths of our brothers and sisters and action on job hazards that kill and injure and stronger job safety laws and protections for all workers. This year’s theme is “Safe Jobs Save Lives. Make your Voice Heard.”

We encourage everyone to take a moment on April 29 to remember the hard-working Americans who go to work one morning and never return to their families at the end of the day.

We will continue the fight until the promise of good, safe jobs is a reality for all workers.

George Koontz, president

Jody Oliver, COPE director

Western Maryland Central

Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Cumberland

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