About Us  News / Media  Member Benefits  Departments  System Divisions & Federations  Governing Documents  

President’s 2019 Workers’ Memorial Day Message

Published: Apr 26 2019 8:51AM

President’s 2019 Workers’ Memorial Day Message

On April 28, workers and their unions throughout the world will pause to remember the thousands of persons killed and the millions injured in the workplace over the past year.  I ask each of you to take time this Workers’ Memorial Day to remember and honor our fallen Brothers and Sisters.

Each year in the U.S., nearly 5,000 workers are killed at work, 50,000 die from occupational illness, and over 3 million more are injured. During calendar year 2018, 17 American railroad workers were killed on duty, including five fatalities in maintenance of way and structures.  Another 3,840 rail workers suffered reportable injuries, including 983 employed in maintenance of way and structure-related crafts. These railroad employee fatalities and injuries do not include the undetermined number of rail employees who have succumbed to railroad-related occupational illness and disease in 2018.

Unfortunately, these tragic statistics do not tell the full story. Studies show that underreporting or non-reporting of injuries is still rampant and many workplace injuries are not recorded. 

This Workers’ Memorial Day, we honor the victims of workplace death and injury. We vow to continue our safety efforts and hold railroad employers accountable for workplace safety and health.  We call for action on meaningful job safety laws and aggressive enforcement of existing laws. We affirm that nothing is more important than assuring railroad workplaces are free from hazards, so our Brothers and Sisters can return safely home to their family and friends each day.

Please join me in honoring our fallen Brothers and Sisters by pausing to remember their ultimate sacrifice this Workers’ Memorial Day. Then, let us redouble our efforts to eliminate death and injury on the railroad. In the words of labor pioneer Mother Jones, “Mourn for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

            In Solidarity,

       BMWED-IBT President

President’s 2019 Workers’ Memorial Day Message - JPG Image

“Mourn for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.” - JPG Image