As we observe Worker’s Memorial Day, it is important to note that according to a recently released report by the National Safety Council, workplace injuries have reached their highest level since 2008.
In 2014, the latest data available, 4,132 workers died in workplace related accidents — an increase of 6 percent over 2013. This is the first sizable increase in workplace deaths in 20 years.
Since OSHA went into effect, workplace fatalities have been cut by 62 percent and occupational injury and illness rates have declined 40 percent.
On Worker’s Memorial Day we need to remember those we have lost and renew our commitment to safety so we can save lives and reverse this trend.
Today we are up against the Tea Party radicals, fat-cat contractors, and billionaire businessmen who are working to turn back the clock on job safety by pushing state right-to-work laws.
In addition to lower pay and skimpy benefits, the rate of workplace injuries and deaths is higher in right-to-work states. How much higher? According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36 percent higher.
Mother Jones’ said we must “mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” That’s one more reason why we say “Right to Work is Wrong!”
Our fight for the living must be to stop the Ohio Legislature from passing a right-to-work law in the lame duck session on their way out the door after the November elections.
This is not just a political issue or only a union cause – it is truly a matter of life and death for every Ohio worker – and their families who will care for their injured and mourn for their dead.