CARTERET–Mayor Dan Reiman was joined on Thursday, April 28, by Freeholder Ronald G. Rios, Kevin Duncan, 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 inside the Atrium at the Carteret Library, and included speeches and observations from the Mayor and guests of honor.
In 1970, the United States Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, promising American workers the right to safe jobs. Since then, labor unions and their allies have fought to make ensure those rights by winning workplace protections that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries. Despite decades of struggle by workers and their unions having resulted in significant improvements in working conditions, the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses, and death remains enormous.
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 said, “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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