Minnesota unions will join labor organizations across the country this week to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.
Each year, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day on April 28, which marks the anniversary of the passage in 1971 of OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the law the regulates workplace safety for most American workers.
“This year we will come together to call for work in this country that is safe and healthy and pays fair wages,” the AFL-CIO said. “We will celebrate the victories won by working people and commit to fighting until all workers have safe jobs and the freedom to form unions without the threat of retaliation.”
Affiliates and labor councils of the Minnesota AFL-CIO plan the following events:
Monday, April 25
Duluth Central Labor Body breakfast and tree planting
The annual AFL-CIO Worker's Memorial pancake breakfast will be served from 7 to 9 a.m., with welcoming statements by the Duluth mayor and Central Labor Body president. At 9:15 a.m., a tree planting ceremony will take place on the grounds of the Duluth AFL-CIO Labor Temple.
Thursday, April 28
Greater Minnesota Worker Center program
At 11 a.m., the Worker Center, located at 4150 2nd Ave S., St. Cloud, will release the results of its preliminary Central Minnesota Poultry Workers Survey, highlighting evident occupational health and safety violations. Bathroom breaks, line speed, unfair hiring practices and religious discrimination are major concerns for Gold’N Plump workers, the Center said.
Minnesota Building & Construction Trades Council ceremony
At 12 p.m., members of Building Trades union will gather for a ceremony at the Workers Memorial Garden on the grounds of the state Capitol, 12th & Cedar St., St. Paul.
Willmar Area Labor Assembly observance
The Assembly will hold a program at 4:30 p.m. at the AFSCME Council 5 office, 1305 1st St. S., in Willmar. Ken Peterson, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, will deliver the keynote address. He will be joined by workers who will share their stories of being injured on the job.
Northern Valley Labor Council Workers service
The Council will hold a Memorial Day service starting at 5:30 p.m. at Bringewatt Park, 2205 24th Ave S., in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The service will be followed by lunch in the park. In the event of bad weather, the service and lunch will be held at the IBEW hall.
Dakota County Labor Assembly service
Members of the Assembly will convene at 6 p.m. at the Monument to Fallen Workers in Lebanon Cemetery, 5450 150th St. W., in Apple Valley, for a memorial service.