In honor of Workers Memorial Day Saturday April 28, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO wants to take a moment to remember not just transportation employees but all employees who have been killed or injured on the job.
This is not just a day of remembrance, it is also a day of action. To see where workers are gathering in remembrance in your area, or to let the AFL-CIO know of your plans to remember our brothers and sisters, click here. We owe these individuals our continued diligence in ensuring the highest levels of workplace safety, and we should never lose sight of this priority. TTD and its members want to remind all industries and government at every level that “Safe Jobs Save Lives.”
It has been 42 years since Congress passed key occupational health and safety legislation that promises every worker in America the right to a safe workplace. But much more needs to be done to fulfill this promise. And in the transportation sector, where the margin for error is often non-existent and passenger and community safety is often intertwined with worker safety, there is special responsibility to safeguard the system at every turn.
We know that too many transportation employees report to work chronically fatigued because of outdated or non-existent duty-time regulations and corporations that push workers to the limit. Basic health and safety rules that are on the books and should be universally applied are often riddled with loopholes and exceptions due to industry and special-interest lobbying. Federal rules don’t properly respond to the growing problem of assaults and harassment of transportation workers that are simply trying to do their jobs. With over two billion tons of hazardous materials that travel on our nation’s roads, traverse our ports and railways, and share the airspace with passengers, we must accept that special rules and regulations are needed to make us all safe.
And in a post 9/11 environment, we must never forget that our nation’s enemies will not hesitate to use and attack our transportation system to advance their illegitimate agenda. Securing our transportation system might not always be popular or easy, but the innocent victims onboard four U.S. aircraft, and in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on that fateful day, deserve our vigilance.
We join with the AFL-CIO and affiliated unions in observing Workers Memorial Day on Saturday. And we pledge to continue to advocate as loudly as we can for good jobs, safe jobs and the right to form and join unions that help to safeguard our most precious resource—our nation’s workers.
You can join in locally as well. At Workers Memorial Day events around the country, let’s all pledge to fight the good fight for enhancing worker safety wherever we can.