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Public Statements

Observing Workers Memorial Day

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Speaker, it is with immense respect that I rise today in remembrance of the many men and women who have lost their lives in the workplace and to honor those who have fought tirelessly to improve conditions for workers throughout the United States. On April 28, 2012, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL CIO) and union members nationwide will once again gather in various locations in observance of Workers Memorial Day. The great men and women of America's unions will pause to pay tribute to the many workers whose lives have been lost, and the millions who have become ill, due to accidents and unsafe conditions in the workplace. They will also reinforce their commitment to improving conditions for future generations to come.

In the United States today, an average of twelve men and women per day go to work and never make it home to their families, having lost their lives due to an accident in the workplace. Unfortunately, many of these accidents could have been prevented. Under outstanding leaders such as AFL CIO President Richard Trumka, Indiana AFL CIO President Nancy Guyott, and Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor President Dan Murchek, AFL CIO union members have continued the flight of their predecessors to ensure that the lives lost were not in vain.

Since the passage of the landmark Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the unions of the AFL CIO have been instrumental in a movement toward the Act's goal that all American workers would have the right to a safe workplace. The AFL CIO and its unions are to be commended for their contributions to the passage of OSHA and many of the subsequent laws and regulations involving workplace safety. It is because of the organization and demands of labor unions that employers and the government have acted to improve the quality of life of the American workforce.

In Northwest Indiana, the steel industry has played a vital role in supporting our local communities and stimulating the economy. On April 26, 2012, in accordance with Workers Memorial Day, United Steelworkers members will pay a special tribute to their fallen comrades whose lives have been cut short in the workplace. These fine men and women will forever be remembered by their devoted colleagues and a grateful community.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my distinguished colleagues join me in observance of Workers Memorial Day, and in remembering the many workers who have lost their lives on the job, while honoring the hardworking, loyal men and women of America's unions who have taken up the struggle to improve safety conditions in the workplace. The great men and women of our unions are the finest representation of America's workforce, and I am proud to represent the many dedicated men and women of labor unions throughout Northwest Indiana. Their unwavering commitment to their fellow workers is to be admired.

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