On April 28, CSEA, AFSCME and the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to honor those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe workplaces. This year, AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders urges us to remember workers, “unsung and often unseen, whose labor keeps the doors open, the lights on and the people moving in our communities, schools, factories and workplaces.”
“As public service workers, AFSCME members are exposed to many serious hazards including traffic, chemicals in the workplace, back injuries, workplace violence, infectious diseases and a variety of other risks that kill, injure, sicken and maim hundreds of our brothers and sisters every year. Our union fought hard to make the promise of the Occupational Safety and Health Act a reality, winning protections that made jobs safer, saved lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries and illnesses.
“Workers have a right to go to work in the morning and return to their homes just as they left. Their families should have the assurance of knowing that employers are living up to their responsibilities to safeguard workplaces. This Workers Memorial Day, we must all recommit not only to doing all we can to keep workplaces safe, but also to standing up together for good jobs that are safe and healthy.”
Just days ago, we mourned the death of Lee Rizor, a 27-year-old highway technician with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a member of OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11. Rizor was operating a backhoe, clearing debris behind a guardrail along Interstate 71, just north of Columbus, when a tractor trailer struck his vehicle. His wife, two young children and their family members are in our thoughts and prayers.