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WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY

Below a sunny sky with a cool breeze, PEF leaders and staff gathered in solidarity at a Workers’ Memorial Day observance at PEF headquarters in Albany. In front of the PEF monument that bears the names of PEF members who were killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and others who died while on the job, PEF President Susan M. Kent addressed the group.

Kent said the day is set aside not only to remind us how fragile and swift life can be, but to make a difference for future generations.

“There are measures we can take as union activists and as individuals, to make sure no more names are added to this monument or others like it,” Kent said.

She spoke about much needed safeguards on silica and other workplace hazards, and how the union must strengthen its efforts to make sure safeguards are finalized and put in place to protect workers. Kent mentioned the Scaffold Law, a major issue for private-sector unions in construction.

“As professionals, we have to make sure important legislation such as the Scaffold Law is not overturned. As unionists, we have to remain vigilant, and make sure insurance companies and rich corporations do not benefit from the expense of workers by risking their health and safety.”

A moment of silence was observed, and those in attendance bowed their heads for our lost brothers and sisters. Kent along with PEF Secretary-Treasurer Carlos Garcia placed a patriotic wreath in front of the monument.