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On Workers Memorial Day, we honor those who’ve lost their lives on the job

By AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride ·

Public service workers prove day after day and year after year that they will do whatever it takes to strengthen and protect our communities. And never more so than during the last two years, when we’ve confronted a deadly virus that has killed nearly a million people in the United States, including far too many AFSCME members.

Today is Workers Memorial Day, when we honor those who gave their lives for their work, a sacrifice no one should have to make. Today, and every day, we recommit to the struggle for the safest possible workplaces.

We can never stop organizing and mobilizing around these life-or-death issues. We must demand a voice on the job, so we can negotiate for better working conditions that allow us to serve without facing mortal danger. We must fight for permanent workplace protections against infectious disease, workplace violence and heat illness.

When there is a crisis – especially when there is a crisis – AFSCME members are fearless. We rush to the front lines no matter what. But we shouldn’t have to do our work without the right personal protective equipment, or without proper ventilation or a seat at the table when decisions are made about job safety.

Please take a moment today to remember those who died on the job. And never quit fighting to prevent fatal injuries and illnesses in the workplace. You shouldn’t have to give your life to make a living.

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