Labor And Building Trades Workers Remembered

Filed under: Labor,Subject Categories |

The story least reported in the press is that last year, 148 workers in the tri-state area went to work, but never returned home alive. They were killed on the job.

Just this week, a construction worker fell to his death at a construction site at 20th & Parrish.

The 148 deaths recorded in 2012 can be considered very high, given the continued level of unemployment. Twenty of the deaths were among public-sector workers. Construction deaths continued to take the highest toll, followed by transportation and goods movement, agriculture, landscaping, and workplace homicides. Recycling work proved to be fatal, as well as energy-related drilling, and retail work. The youngest victim was 13 years old and the oldest 78 years old.

BANNER says it all as union leaders gathered at annual commemoration of Workers Memorial Day, honoring 148 who lost their lives on the job in tri-state area.

Keynote speaker Dr. Marilyn V. Howarth, MD, president of Howarth Occupational and Environmental Consulting, PC, challenged local, state and federal governments to do more to insure safety on all worksites. PHILAPOSH Director Barbara Rahke and AFL-CIO President Pat Eiding urged those attending to continue to alert their labor forces to the many dangers to which they are exposed on a daily basis.

Other guest speakers included John Johnson, president , TWU Local 234; John Clark, business manager, Boilermakers Local 13; and Holly Shaw-Hollis of the PHILAPOSH Board. Philaposh also honored Jim Moran, Aggie Moran, Ludy Soderman, Mike Schurr, AFSCME DC 47 Health &Safety Advisory Committee for their contributions during the year toward increasing safety awareness.

Families of six workers killed among the 148 honored were among the guests.

Following the breakfast, each of the attendees work a sign of a deceased worker as they paraded along Columbus Avenue to Penn’s Landing leading a coffin accompanied by a bagpiper. At the Landing, a memorial service was held with the reading of the names of each worker commemorated.

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