Today’s worldwide celebration by workers, of workers and for workers is a potent reminder of the collective power we share when we — as those who work for a living — stand united in pursuit of a more dignified future for all.
We remember today the historic and heroic struggles waged by generations before us: for an eight-hour day, for a minimum wage, for overtime rights, for the abolition of child labor, for the weekend, for Social Security and more.
But we also know those hard-fought gains are backsliding. Working people are working more for far less. Basic necessities like healthcare, housing and food are, for many, becoming increasingly out of reach at the worst possible time. Younger generations have, on average, little hope things will improve in their lifetimes.
We believe the only way to reverse those trends is by organizing.
OPEIU’s commitment to prioritize organizing the unorganized has paved the way toward historic wins in new industries, amplifying the voices and improving the material conditions of workers in the nonprofit and tech sectors.
Through their union — our union — workers who long had no collective voice now have a vehicle to take power into their own hands.
Read more about recent OPEIU wins across the nation in the first issue of OPEIU Connect, our official magazine.
Happy May Day.
April 28 is Workers Memorial Day
On this day in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect. Each year, on the anniversary, the labor movement comes together to honor our fellow workers, union and nonunion alike, who died a preventable death on the job in the last year.
This past year, 4,764 workers were killed on the job. An estimated 120,000 more died from occupational diseases. Sadly, we know the actual number of lives cut short by employer behavior — whether covert, like cutting health benefits during a pandemic, or overt, like failing to provide adequate PPE — is far greater.
Construction sites remain one of the deadliest places to work in the country. But the neglectful actions of employers of all stripes and in every industry — from Amazon and Tesla to Amy’s Kitchen and McLaren Macomb — impact not just their employees' well-being, but the well-being of workers’ families and the communities in which they live.
Honoring those senselessly lost means standing up in unison to say loud and clear: One workplace death is one too many.
Find a Workers Memorial Day event near you by clicking here.
Read the AFL-CIO’s annual report on worker safety and occupational hazards in all 50 states here.
Red Cross workers are asking for your support
Each year, the labor movement comes together on the anniversary of the passage of Occupational Safety and Health Act to honor the thousands of working people who die each year on the job. The COVID-19 pandemic, employer recklessness, and a strained healthcare system continue to threaten the lives of working people.
This April 28, consider attending a Workers Memorial Day event in your community. You can find the AFL-CIO's Workers Memorial Day toolkit, and more information about the day, here.