For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

On Workers Memorial Day, AFSCME President Saunders urges renewed commitment to fight for worker safety

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement in observance of Workers Memorial Day:

“Public service workers – our nurses, corrections officers, sanitation workers, child care providers and many others – regularly risk their own health and safety to care for our communities. We are always thankful for their sacrifices; but this year, we are truly humbled by the essential workers who braved a global pandemic to continue reporting for duty every day – caring for others, controlling the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our country running.

“On this day of remembrance, as we grieve those lost to the coronavirus and other workplace dangers, we must recommit ourselves to the fight for worker safety. We must work with the Biden administration to strengthen and expand OSHA protections for all workers. And Congress must also protect workers and expand their rights to a seat at the table by passing the Workplace Violence Prevention Act and sending both the Protect the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act to the president’s desk. When workers have a voice on the job, they use that power to negotiate for safe staffing levels, enhanced training and other protections that keep themselves and their communities safe.

“Workers deserve more than thanks for their sacrifices. They deserve action from leaders to keep them safe. Giving workers the freedom to join a union and collectively bargain is key to ensuring that they are protected on the job.”