The Ceremony was held on Monday, April 29th at 10:30 at the Workers Memorial Garden. Speakers included Jessica Looman, Executive Director of the MN Building Trades; Tom McCarthy, Plumbers Local 34; MN Commissioner of Labor Nancy Leppink; Ray Waldron, President Emeritus MN Building Trades; and Dan McConnell, President, Minneapolis Building Trades. Special thanks to bagpiper Ralph Magnusson.
This year we come together to call for action on hazards that cause unnecessary injury, illness and death. We stand united against the ongoing attacks on workers’ rights and protections and demand that elected officials put workers’ well-being above corporate interests.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act and Mine Safety and Health Act promise workers the right to a safe job. Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality—winning protections that have made jobs safer, saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries and illnesses.
But our work is not done. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more suffer injury or illness because of their jobs.
After years of struggle, we won new rules to protect workers from deadly silica dust and beryllium, a stronger coal dust standard for miners and stronger anti-retaliation protections for workers who report job injuries.
These hard-won gains are threatened. The Trump administration has carried out an all-out assault on regulations, targeting job safety rules on beryllium, mine examinations, injury reporting and child labor protections. The labor movement and allies have fought back and blocked some of these attacks. However, this assault has taken a toll: Key protections have been repealed or rolled back and agency budgets and staff have been cut. There has been no action on critical safety and health problems like workplace violence, silica in mining and exposure to toxic chemicals.
Now, we have new opportunities to oppose these anti-worker attacks, hold the Trump administration accountable, and push forward to win stronger worker protections.