The Central Maryland AFL-CIO Labor Council hosted a Workers Memorial Day Service Friday morning.
The council’s goal is to remember those who were killed or injured performing their jobs and to remind people that they must continue their commitment to safe workplaces.
“Along the way, we started doing these memorial services for people who have fallen on the job.” said President of Central Maryland AFL-CIO Labor Council Jeff Hughs. “Anyone that’s been killed, maned or killed by industrial accidents or an occupational disease. That’s why we do this, we do this every year to just have a day of mourning for people who have been lost on the job.”
“When you see it up close it gets a little bit personal,” said Vice President of Central Maryland AFL-CIO Labor Council Chip Cook. “As a union officer, we try to do anything we can to make sure we have a safe environment for the people. We put comprehensive safety programs in and improved on that greatly over the years. I really do try to work with the city of Hagerstown that anybody that works with me–goes home.”
According to the council, over 5,000 people died on the job in 2018, that’s almost 150 workers dying each day due to hazardous working conditions. On top of that, an estimated 50,000 to-60,000 workers passed away from occupation-related diseases.
“We just wanted to make sure those people aren’t forgotten about,” said Hughes. “Not only is it a tragic event for a worker to die on the job, but also the family that’s left behind. We want to continue to make sure they know that they’re in our thoughts.”
I think people have to realize that everybody has someone that needs them.” said Cook. “They want to go home to that person they count on. So, I think it’s a responsibility for everyone that these people have a good safe environment and good safe work practices.”
Hughes wanted to add that their mission is to pray for the dead and fight for the living, ultimately keeping all workers safe.