Workers’ Memorial Day honors those Killed on the Job

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On Thursday, April 28, working families around the country will gather to remember and honor friends and family members who have been killed or injured while doing 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.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there were over 4,300 workplace deaths nationwide due to traumatic injury in 2009 (the most recent figures). In Illinois, 158 workers were killed on the job in 2009 while 137,900 people suffered workplace injuries or illness. Illinois employs only 77 workplace inspectors for a working population of over 6,600,000 (Illinois Department of Employment Security 2010). According to the BLS, it would take those 77 inspectors 94 years to inspect each Illinois worksite one time.

“Even though Illinois has some of the best worker safety laws, we still need improvements at the state level and nationally to ensure you and I can go to work under the safest conditions,” said Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO.  “Obviously we need

to increase the number of worksite inspectors by improved funding to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Department of Labor. Worker safety is a core issue for the Illinois AFL-CIO and we work diligently in Springfield with lawmakers to strengthen our laws and increase penalties for those companies who do not comply.”

The State Labor Federation has also been working tirelessly over the past months to secure benefits for workers who are injured on the job through workers’ compensation laws. “Our goal is to protect injured workers’ benefits and to make sure they get the best medical care possible in a timely manner, so they can get back to work quickly,” said Carrigan.

A complete list of Workers’ Memorial Day events is posted below and they can also be viewed at

 2011 Workers’ Memorial Day Events

ALTON – Thursday, April 28, the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor Workers’ Memorial Day Services from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m., beginning in the Muenstermann Building at Gordon F. Moore Community Park, Highway 140 and Park Rd, Alton, followed by a roses and candlelight walk to the memorial at the entrance of the park from the Muenstermann Building. The program will feature guest speakers, color guard, music and video presentation.

BLOOMINGTON – Thursday, April 28, Bloomington-Normal Trades and Labor Assembly Workers’ Memorial Day Service at 6 a.m. at White Oak Park Pavilion in Bloomington.

DECATUR – Thursday, April 28, Decatur Trades and Labor Assembly Workers’ Memorial Day Service, 5 p.m. on the northwest corner of the Macon County Courthouse lawn, located at 253 West Wood Street in downtown Decatur.

GALESBURG – Thursday, April 28, Galesburg Trades and Labor Assembly Workers’ Memorial Day Service at 5:30 p.m. at the Laborers Hall, 118 W. Main in East Galesburg.

JOLIET – Friday, April 29, Will and Grundy Counties Trades and Labor Council annual Workers’ Memorial Day Dinner at the IBEW 176 West Banquet Hall in Joliet.

PEORIA – Thursday, April 28, Labor Council of West Central Illinois Workers’ Memorial Candlelight Service – We gather at the Peoria Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson in Peoria at 5 p.m. and walk to the Workers’ Memorial site at 419 Fulton Street. We will have a short ceremony to honor all workers and members of the United States Military who have died or were injured on the job.

QUAD CITIES – Thursday, April 28, Quad Cities Federation of Labor Workers’ Memorial Day Service at 3:30 p.m. at the USW Local 105 Hall, 880 Devils Glen Rd, Bettendorf, IA.

ROCKFORD – Thursday, April 28, the 22nd Rockford United Labor Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony. Meet at the Workers’ Memorial Day Tablets located behind the E.J. ‘Zeke’ Giorgi Building, 200 South Wyman Street in Rockford at 5 p.m. for a short ceremony and Wreath Dedication. Refreshments and a Safety Fair will occur immediately following the ceremony.

SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, April 28, Springfield and Central Illinois Trades and Labor Council Workers’ Memorial Day Service at 5 p.m. in the Illinois State Library Atrium. Program reception following.

SPRING VALLEY – Workers’ Memorial Scholarship Golf Outing: Friday, June 10 at SpringCreek 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

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