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On Worker’s Memorial Day, Sunday April 28th, working families in Illinois and around the country will gather to remember and honor friends and family members who have been killed or injured while going their jobs.

In Illinois, there are 10 events scheduled to honor deceased workers and to call attention to the need for continuing worker safety training, stricter laws and increased enforcement of current laws.

In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 4,600 workers lost their lives on the job and another 50,000 died from occupational diseases. That’s a total of 150 workers dying each and every day. In Illinois, 177 workers lost their lives on the job and another 124,700 suffered injury or illness due to their work.

Almost all of these work place tragedies could have been prevented. In workplaces across the country, workers continue to be exposed to well-known hazards that are poorly regulated and inadequately controlled.

After many years of rolling back important workplace protections, President Barack Obama has shown a strong commitment to safety in the workplace, including proposals strengthening enforcement on repeat violators and new safeguards for workplace hazards. Some Business groups oppose these measures and are falsely claiming that these regulations and protections kill jobs. The fact is, the regulations keep jobs and employers from killing workers.

All workers should be able to go to work and return home safely to their family and loved ones at the end of the day. On Workers Memorial Day, we will pause in remembrance of those who have died on the job and call for action. We must stand together to educate and renew our commitment to promoting work place safety laws and halting any efforts to diminish what we have accomplished.

We, the Illinois labor movement, pledge to fight for good jobs that will provide economic security and opportunity for our fellow citizens and rebuild our nation.

2013 Illinois Workers’ Memorial Day Events

Alton – Sunday, April 28, the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO will hold their annual Workers’ Memorial Day services of the Workers Memorial Statue located in the Gordon F. Moore Community Park, Highway 140 and Park Rd, Alton. Services will begin at 3:00 PM. In the case of bad weather, services will be held at the Muenstermann Pavilion at Gordon Moore Park. Contact B. Dean Webb at 618-259-8558.

Bloomington – Saturday, April 27, Bloomington-Normal Trades and Labor Assembly Workers’ Memorial Day Service at White Oak Park Pavilion in Bloomington. The ceremony will begin at 8:00 AM. They will be adding the names of 2 union members who have lost their lives in the last year. Contact Gary Leake at 309-828-7383.

Chicago – Sunday, April 28, 3:00 – 5:00 PM, Workers Memorial Day rally commemorating the 112 Bangladesh workers that died in a November 2012 sweatshop factory (Wal-Mart supplier). Event will be held at the UAW Local 551 Union Hall, 13550 S. Torrence Avenue, Chicago, IL. A reception with food & refreshment will follow.

For more information go to www.uawlocal551.com or call Mike Siviwe Elliot @ 708-420-1223.

Decatur – Sunday, April 28, Decatur Trades and Labor Assembly Workers’ Memorial Day Service, 1:00 PM on the northwest corner of the Macon County Courthouse lawn, located at 253 West Wood Street in downtown Decatur. They will be unveiling new permanent stones with the names of those who have died on the job. Contact Lloyd Holman, 217-620-4923 or Carl Draper, 217-791-1279.

Joliet – Friday, April 26, Will and Grundy Counties Trades and Labor Council annual Workers’ Memorial Day Dinner at the IBEW 176 Banquet Hall in Joliet. Contact Charlie Hanus at 815-744-2886.

Peoria – Monday, April 29, Labor Council of West Central Illinois Workers’ Memorial Service. We will be gathering at the Peoria Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson in Peoria at 5:00 PM and walk to the Workers’ Memorial site at 419 Fulton Street. We will have a brief ceremony to remember workers injured, diseased or killed on the job. Contact Mike Everett at 309-673-3691 or CJ Higgins at 309-674-5449.

Quad Cities – Friday, April 26, Quad Cities Federation of Labor Workers’ Memorial Day Service at 4:30 PM at the USW Local 105 Hall, 880 Devils Glen Rd, Bettendorf, IA. Doors open at 4:00 PM. Refreshments served after service.

For more information, contact Joshua Schipp at 309-738-6536.

Rockford – Monday, April 29, the Rockford United Labor Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at the Workers’ Memorial Tablets located behind the E.J. ‘Zeke’ Giorgi Building, 200 South Wyman Street in Rockford. The event will be at 5:00 PM and a light dinner will be served immediately following the ceremony.

For more information, contact Bill Corey, 815-968-1411.

Springfield – Sunday, April 28, Springfield and Central Illinois Trades and Labor Council Workers’ Memorial Day Service at 1:30 PM at the Illinois AFL-CIO Building main entrance, 534 S. Second Street in Springfield. They will recognize fallen workers and lay roses at the monument. Reception will follow.

For more information, contact Shannon Garrett at 217-492-2615.

Spring Valley – Workers” Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing: Friday, June 7 at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley, IL. Workers’ Memorial Scholarships: $1,000 scholarships given to eligible dependents of union members who have been either killed or permanently injured on the job and are affiliated with the Illinois Valley Federation of Labor, Contact Dan Mercer at 815-725-0402.

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