Statement of New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on Workers' Memorial Day 2018

Albany - "On Saturday, April 28th, in cities, towns and communities across this country and throughout the world we remember working men and women who have suffered and died on the job.

One worker who does not return home from work is too many, yet here in New York State, 272 workers lost their lives in 2016, the most current data available. That’s 272 families that had to endure the heart wrenching news that their loved one would not return home from a day of work.

But, as we pay tribute and reflect on those we lost, we also stand firm in our fight to strengthen workplace protections, make jobs safer and save lives.

It is working people, through their unions, who fight for not only better wages and benefits, but better working conditions. And while we have made great strides over the years, all those gains are now threatened by right wing ideologues in Congress and across this country who want nothing more than to silence the voice of working people.

That won’t happen here in New York State. We gained 75,000 new union members last year and are on our way to adding thousands more already this year. That means more and more working people are recognizing the value in joining together and speaking with one voice.

It is in that unity that we will counter the attacks on working people.

On this Workers’ Memorial Day, we demand that the well-being of workers comes before corporate interests. Whether in the field of construction, on scaffolding, workplace violence in a school building or classroom, in a psychiatric hospital or prison, workplace safety is always a priority.

Continuing to grow the labor movement will only make us stronger, giving us a powerful unified voice to raise the standard of living and quality of life of all working people. That quality of life begins and ends with ensuring a safe workplace."

###

The New York State AFL-CIO is a federation of 3,000 affiliated public sector, private sector, and building trades unions throughout the state representing 2.5 million members, retirees and their families. Our State Federation, which is the largest and most diverse in the country, is committed to helping working families achieve a better life. For more information on the Labor Movement in New York, visit www.nysaflcio.org.