(HARRISBURG) – On Monday, April 29 the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO was joined by state legislators to demand safe workplaces for all workers in our Commonwealth. The fight for workplace safety and health protections has been at the center of the Union Movement since its beginning. Every worker has the right to a safe workplace; no worker should ever die on the job.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed on April 28, 1971. The Labor Movement observes this date as Workers’ Memorial Day in honor of the working women and men who have died on the job in the previous year. There are more thank 577,000 public sector workers who do not have OSHA protections in Pennsylvania. Labor leaders and state legislators have announced their support for House Bill 1082, “Jake’s Law”, which will public sector employees with safety and health protections, at the Harrisburg Regional Central Labor Council’s Workers’ Memorial event.
In 2017, 172 workers died on the job in Pennsylvania, and there were 132,500 workplace injuries. With the 49 OSHA inspectors in our Commonwealth, it would take 155 years to inspect every workplace. We must bring an end to the neglect of workplace safety in our country.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, Harrisburg CLC President David Gash, along with Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene Depasquale, State Representatives Pat Harkins and co-sponsors of House Bill 1082 held a press conference on worker safety and health at a Workers’ Memorial Service in Harrisburg.
“Workers’ Memorial Day is our opportunity to underscore our commitment to each other as workers and ensure that safety is always placed ahead of corporate profits. We wholeheartedly support House Bill 1082 to extend workplace safety and health protections to our public sector brothers and sisters. Whether you work for a public or private worker should not impact your right to a safe workplace,” stated Pennsylvania AFL-CIO president Rick Bloomingdale.
“As we honor those workers who’ve lost their lives on the job, we remain resolved in our fight to end needless workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Our commitment to protecting workers from unsafe jobs will not subside until every worker can go to work and return home safe and healthy at the end of the day,” added Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.