CARTERET — Mayor Dan Reiman was joined Wednesday morning by Freeholder Ronald G. Rios, Bill Schleuter, president of the Middlesex County Building and Construction Trades Council, and Carteret workers and residents to observe Workers Memorial Day. This year’s annual services were held outside the Carteret Library and Memorial Municipal Building, and included speeches and observations from the Mayor and guests of honor.
Workers’ Memorial Day, International Workers’ Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. Workers’ Memorial Day was started by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in 1984, the Canadian Labor Congress declared an annual day of remembrance in 1985 on April 28, which is the anniversary of a comprehensive Workers Compensation Act (refer to the entry Workplace Safety and Insurance Board), passed in 1914.
In 1991, the Canadian Parliament passed an Act respecting a National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace; making April 28, an official Workers’ Mourning Day. April 28 was chosen by Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) because it is the day the first Workmen’s Compensation Act (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) came into effect in Canada with the National Day of Mourning.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), across the world:
- Each year, more than two million women and men die as a result of work-related accidents and diseases
- Workers suffer approximately 270 million occupational accidents each year, and fall victim to some 160 million incidents of work-related illnesses
- Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually – asbestos claims 100,000 lives
- One worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide. 6,000 workers die every day. More people die whilst at work than those fighting wars
“Every day, millions of Americans put themselves in jeopardy at the workplace,” Reiman added. “This is why we’re here today – to recognize those who throughout our history have been injured or even killed on the job, to appreciate those who have worked tirelessly to make working conditions safer, and to support our trade and labor unions who promote workers’ safety throughout New Jersey.”
“Business leaders have a responsibility,” Rios added, “to recognize their obligations to working individuals, who have the right to return home to their family at the end of the day the same way they left for work in the morning.”
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