All sectors of the labor movement come together each April 28th to pay tribute to the workers who have become ill or died on the job, and to renew our fight for safe workplaces. We honor our fallen colleagues who literally gave their lives to their jobs and strive for work that is safe and healthy and that pays fair, family sustaining wages.
New Jersey consistently ranks among the lowest states in the country in worker fatalities and injuries due to our strong union presence here and the strength of our union family. Nonetheless, work-related accidents claimed the lives of 36 men and women in 2015, according to preliminary estimates. As recently as last week, a construction worker in Jersey City fell down an elevator shaft and lost his life.
While worker deaths continue to decline in New Jersey, even one job-related fatality is too many. We won’t be satisfied until the number reaches zero, and stays there.
OSHA reports that 4,679 workers died on the job in 2014 across the country. While fields like construction, agriculture and oil and gas exploration are particularly dangerous for workers, no occupation is immune.
That’s why we are especially grateful to our affiliated unions, Central Labor Councils, Building Trades Councils, elected officials and colleagues for their continued dedication to the urgent task of ensuring workplace safety.
We conclude by reciting the timeless words of Mother Jones: “Mourn for the dead, but fight like hell for the living!”