Workers’ Memorial Day 2014: Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living

The likelihood of people getting hurt or killed on the job is dramatically reduced when there is proper planning, adequate staffing and appropriate equipment and training

ALBANY — Monday, April 28, is Workers’ Memorial Day when CSEA and others honor the memory of workers who have lost their lives or been injured on the job. In the past year, seven CSEA members lost their lives in on-the-job incidents that didn’t have to happen. There have been six workplace fatalities involving CSEA members in the past seven months alone.

In the most recent reporting year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported about 69,000 injury and illness cases among state and local government workers in New York. The incidence rate was higher than the national average.

“Let’s be clear: when it comes to safety and health, there’s no such thing as an accident,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “The likelihood of people getting hurt or killed on the job is dramatically reduced when there is proper planning, adequate staffing and appropriate equipment and training.”

CSEA will hold a memorial program as part of its Statewide Conference on Occupational Safety and Health in Lake Placid May 2-4. There are a number of other memorial programs scheduled around the state over the next two weeks:

Long Island Region
A Workers’ Memorial Day service will be held April 28 in Hauppauge at the New York State Office Building at 5 p.m. Steven Giacobello, a CSEA member in the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Public Works who was struck by a car and killed while collecting recyclables, will be remembered.

Metropolitan Region
The CSEA Staten Island Developmental Center Local will hold a Workers’ Memorial Day candlelight vigil on April 28 at 6 p.m. at 1100 Forest Hill Rd., Staten Island, Building 12A. The vigil will be in remembrance of Lizette Serrano and Marion “Tish” Anderson-Ryan, two food service workers who worked at Staten Island DDSO who were struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. The workers were heading home after staying late and using their own time to make sure individuals at the center were served a great Thanksgiving meal.

Southern Region
The Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation will hold a Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony on April 24 at 6 p.m. at the IBEW Local 363 Training Center in Harriman. CSEA members Lance Gayton, Rich Capper and Nick Farella are to be remembered. The event will be followed by the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation Labor Legislative Forum and U.S. Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Nita Lowey are scheduled to attend.

The Westchester-Putnam Central Labor Body will hold its 9th annual Worker Vigil on April 29 at 5 p.m. at Renaissance Plaza in White Plains (Mamaroneck Ave. and Main St. intersection, in front of the fountain).

Capital Region
Capital District Area Labor Federation activists and local faith leaders will gather in Saratoga Springs April 26 at 4p.m. at the New England Congregational Church, 24 Circular Street, for a reading of the names of the families who have lost loved ones on the job. There will also be a performance by local spoken word poet and activist Victorio Reyes. The memory of Ron Clifford, a Greene County CSEA member who passed away will be honored.

Central Region
The Central New York Labor Council will hold a ceremony in Utica on April 24 at 5 p.m. at the Labor Monument at West Main Street in Ilion, followed by a dinner. For more information, call (315) 735-6101.

The Central New York Area Labor Federation, along with other organizations, will hold their Unity Breakfast in Syracuse on April 25 at 8 a.m. at Pensabene’s Casa Grande at 135 State Fair Boulevard in Syracuse.

The Broome-Tioga Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, along with other organizations, will hold a ceremony in Binghamton on April 26 at noon at the Commemorative Plaque on the River Trail (Wall Street) near the Martin Luther King statue. It will be followed by a volunteer cleanup and planting at the Binghamton Factory Fire Memorial at the Spring Forest Cemetery on Mygatt Street in Binghamton.

The CSEA Central Region Safety and Health Committee will hold its Annual Memorial Tree Planting and Observance in Utica on April 28 at noon outside the New York State Department of Transportation Fleet Administration and Support Building at 10 Harbor Lock Road West in Utica.

Western Region
The Department of Transportation Region 4 will be holding a Workers’ Memorial Ceremony on April 28, 10 a.m. at the FSA Shop on Clover St. in Pittsford.

The Rochester Labor Council will hold a Workers’ Memorial Day Ceremony in Highland Park, Rochester, New York at 5:30 p.m. on April 28.

The Western New York OPWDD will be holding an event in West Seneca on May 8 at 11 a.m. in front of the Western New York Developmental Center Administrative Building (just inside the facility’s entrance on East & West Road).