Statement of NYS AFL-CIO Pres. Mario Cilento on Workers' Memorial Day 2016

Albany - Every day on average, 13 workers die in this country as a result of workplace injuries. And, every year in cities, towns and communities across America we gather on Workers' Memorial Day to remember our brothers and sisters who have lost their lives on the job. The Labor Movement is the single most important entity toward ensuring a better life for working men and women. We fight for better wages and benefits, but we also fight for better conditions of employment which results in safer working conditions. Virtually every safety and health protection on the books today is there because of the ability of working people to join together and speak up together to fight and win these protections. That effort continues today. We have made great progress in workplace safety and there is no question many lives have been saved. But there is still much work to do. In far too many workplaces, employers cut corners and put workers in harm's way. Whether it's improper training or inadequate safety equipment, men and women are sickened, disabled or killed on the job. And, there are constant attempts by our opponents who would like to roll back worker protections and the right to join a union. On this Workers' Memorial Day, we reflect and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives on the job or who have been injured or made ill. On this Workers' Memorial Day, we also pledge to continue to fight for safe jobs now and into the future as we build on creating opportunities for a better life for all - a better life that includes safe workplaces. Mario Cilento