Local union members, elected officials gather at PEF for Workers Memorial Day
Union members from the greater Albany area gathered at PEF Headquarters to observe Workers Memorial Day. The crowd of nearly 100 included local officials such as Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and Albany City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar.
Everyone who attended came to honor fellow workers who were injured or died on the job last year. PEF Region 8 Coordinator Michael Blue officiated at the event, saying, “We are here to renew the fight for safe jobs. This year, we come together to defend the hard-f ought victories that unions have achieved for us, and to continue the fight for safer worksites.”
The speakers at the event included Anne Marie Gibson, a principal investigator at the state Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, state Department of Health, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention; Dominick Patrignani, president, IUE-CWA Local 81359; Maureen Cox, NENYCOSH chairperson; Charles Harvey, compliance safety and health officer, OSHA; Phil Stenglein, organizer, Sheet Metal Workers Local 83 and Reverend Peter Cook.
A moment of silence was held after the speakers each talked about an increase in workplace fatalities. A bell was rung for each of the 13 workers who died in the Capital Region, and a red carnation was placed in their memory as participants held up signs with the names of our lost brothers and sisters.
Stenglein reminded the audience to remember the words of Mother Jones, “Mourn for the dead but fight like hell for the living.”
The event was co-sponsored by the Capital District Area Labor Federation, PEF and the Northeast New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.