Rochester-- On April 29, the local labor community and allies attended a Workers Memorial Day ceremony at Highland Park’s Workers Rights Memorial honoring the men and women who have died on the job. The event was hosted by The Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation and the Rochester Labor Council.
Workers Memorial Day (April 28) is not only a day to remember those who have died while working on the job; it’s also a day to renew our collective commitment to the fight for safe and healthy workplaces for all workers throughout the world.
Speakers at the service encouraged those in attendance to talk to co-workers and supervisors about safety risks and how we can all work together to make sure everyone has all the tools and resources they need to be safe and healthy at work.
Matt Kozak, CSEA Director of the Occupational, Safety & Health Department, urged lawmakers, managers and union rank and file to recommit ourselves to strengthening and enforcing our present health and safety laws and standards—as well as providing education, training and financial assistance when needed.
Jeffrey Farrell, a CSEA member from Monroe County who passed away in January while working on the job, was given special recognition at the ceremony. Kozak and other CSEA leaders presented his parents, Thomas and Carol, with a memorial plaque. After the presentation, a red and white carnation drop at the base of the monument was also dedicated to the memory of Mr. Farrell.
Presenters at the ceremony included Mike Maynard (Teamsters Local 118); Maria Fisher (RGVALF, AFL-CIO); Paul Markwitz (Teamsters Local 118); Gordon DeLeys (US Dept. of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration); Paola Macas Betchart (Worker Justice Center of NY) and Matt Kozak (CSEA Director, OS&H). A special benediction was also delivered by Rev. Marlowe Washington.
Story & photos by Ove Overmyer, CSEA ©2019