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For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Workers Memorial Day

Statement of AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee on Workers Memorial Day

Washington, DC — 

“On Workers Memorial Day, April 28, the lives of workers killed on the job, or maimed, are remembered and honored. It is fitting to note that, 43 years ago, a fatal accident took the lives of two sanitation workers in Memphis, Tenn. It sparked the famous two-month strike by 1,300 of their co-workers – members of AFSCME Local 1733 – to improve their working conditions. Yet, some employers still overlook or disregard the safety of their employees. Even when employers are responsible, too often it first takes courageous workers to stand up and demand changes. Collective bargaining allows all workers to stand united for their rights, including the right to work in a safe environment. But collective bargaining is under a vicious right-wing assault. This Workers Memorial Day, as we remember the victims, let’s also remember that American workers are fighting hard to protect their collective bargaining rights. Their safety – even their lives – could ride on the outcome of this struggle.”