CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Friday is National Worker’s Memorial Day, and several labor groups held events to memorialize fallen workers in the region.
The holiday commemorates the 52nd anniversary of the enactment of the Occupational Safety Hazard Act. Their goal is to make sure all workers who show up for a shift return back home.
In Springfield, family members of laid roses at a ceremony hosted by the Illinois AFL-CIO Friday morning to honor local workers fallen at work.
In Champaign, four names were added to the Champaign County Worker’s Memorial, including Kristian Philpotts who was murdered while driving for Lyft.
"It’s just such a reminder of the importance of the work that we do and how much you know, we have to continue to strive and push and do better for them," Illinois Department of Labor director Jane Flanagan said.
Illinois AFL-CIO president Tim Drea believes unions have helped keep workers safe. He said working in the coal mine was much safer when he started in 1979, versus when his father started in the same occupation in 1947.
"The United Mine Workers of America fought for those 30 years, fought really, really hard to make mines safer, so that their children and their children would not be experiencing the same dangerous conditions," Drea said.
The national AFL-CIO released a report this week which found in 2021, 5,190 workers were killed on the clock across the United States. Fatality rates were disproportionately higher for Black and Latino workers as well as workers over the age of 55.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois had 176 workplace fatalites in 2021, up from 135 in 2020. 66 of those workplace fatalites were of people of color.
via WCIA.com https://www.wcia.com
April 28, 2023 at 05:34PM