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Workers Memorial Day: What was said

May 2, 2013

Workers Memorial Day was April 28. Here’s a roundup of what various politicians and workers’ rights advocates said in recognition of the event.

“Tragically, thousands of American workers die on the job each year, and millions more suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. On Workers Memorial Day, we honor them, and we reaffirm that no one should have to put their life on the line to bring home a paycheck.”

– President Barack Obama
“We can and must save more lives – with even strong enforcement, even better training and outreach. We must use all our tools to protect every worker – whether English is their first language or not, whether they started yesterday or 30 years ago, whether they’re a full-time employee or a temporary or contingent worker.”

– acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris
“Every worker deserves to be confident that while doing their jobs, their employers are doing everything they can to protect them. And no employer who provides a safe workplace should be at a competitive disadvantage to those that take shortcuts and disregard safety laws at the expense of safety.”

– Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA)
“Miners are still dying. Industrial dust explosions continue to destroy property and lives. Offshore oil rig workers still don’t have basic whistleblower protections. Our working families deserve better. … No workers should have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood. We shouldn’t have to accept the status quo.”

– Rep. George Miller (D-CA)
“This Workers Memorial Day we must speak out against all those who value profit over life and wealth for the few over prosperity for all. Corporations that exploit workers and put them in danger must be held accountable. We call on the Obama administration to act without further delay to implement important regulations on silica, coal dust and other hazards. And we must strengthen our job safety laws to give all workers the protection they need and deserve.”

– Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president
“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.”

– Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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