“For the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Workers’ Memorial Day is a time to remember and to acknowledge the sacrifices of men and women who helped build America. We deeply respect and miss our LIUNA brothers and sisters who have given their lives at work, and we know the hardship imposed on their families and loved ones. Invoking their memory, we resolve to make work safe for every Laborer, everyday, everywhere in North America.
“Workers’ Memorial Day is also an occasion to recognize the commitment of LIUNA’s signatory contractors to the safety of their workforce. Together with these contractors, LIUNA, district councils, local unions, our Tri-Funds, our training centers, our health and safety funds, our local unions and our membership are gaining ground toward the goal of zero on-the-job fatalities.
“On April 28, we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and we renew our commitment to the safety and health of all our members.”
Joint statement from LIUNA General President Terence M. O’Sullivan and LIUNA General Secretary Treasurer Armand E. Sabitoni
Each year, Illinois Laborers commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day with ceremonies at the Illinois Laborers’ & Contractors Joint Apprenticeship & Training Center in Mt. Sterling. In 2005, a memorial fountain for fallen Laborers was dedicated at the Center, and this year, on Saturday, April 25th, the names of members who died before September 1, 1999 – when the Midwest Region Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund started keeping records – will be added. The ceremony will include presenters, a memorial video, music and a visit to the memorial fountain where family members may plant a flower or small tree in memory of their loved one. Each family will receive an acrylic memento containing a bronze coin inscribed with “Workers’ Memorial Day” and the LIUNA logo on one side and “We Mourn, We Honor, We Remember” on the reverse. In addition, Laborers’ Local #393 and Business Manager David Raikes will hold a ceremony at the local union that will be covered in the Marseilles (IL) newspaper.
New Jersey Awareness
In southern New Jersey, Local #172 Safety, Education, and Training Fund Director Joe DeMarco has ordered candy bars with custom-printed labels. The labels contain a series of thought-provoking facts about Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) and workplace safety in general. As in years past, DeMarco will deliver the candy bars to local worksites shortly before lunch each day of WMD week. “It always stirs up a lot of discussion about the day and the importance of safety,” he says.