ILION — CSEA Central Region officers, activists and staff recently planted and dedicated a tree to our union members who have lost their lives on the job. 

This is the 14th year, and 14th location, that the region has dedicated a tree to observe Workers’ Memorial Day. In each of these years, the region has dedicated a tree in a different county. This year, Central Region leaders planted the tree in an Ilion park. 


“The permanence of the 14 trees we’ve planted around Region 5 represents the lifelong remembrance of the lives of those workers whom we’ve lost,” said Central Region President Kenny Greenleaf. “While we mourn them today, we honor our fallen workers by fighting for safe work environments for each and every member of CSEA every day.” 

Standing next to the tree, several region leaders spoke alongside Greenleaf to honor members who have passed away while doing their jobs. 

In addition to remembering our union’s fallen brothers and sisters, region leaders also recommitted themselves to ensuring workplace safety and doing everything to prevent any more workplace deaths and injuries. 


“They say ‘mourn the dead and fight [like hell]for the living,’” said Tom Hingher, Central Region 3rd Vice President. “I believe that here at CSEA, we truly embody that saying by constantly fighting for the safety of our brothers and sisters in the workplace.” 

Central Region Occupational Safety and Health Committee Chair Dustin Young addresses members during the region’s Workers’ Memorial Day ceremony in Ilion.

“I see every day how dedicated my fellow members are to serving their communities and am incredibly grateful to play a role in working to ensure that they can safely do their jobs,” said Dustin Young, Central Region Occupational Health and Safety Committee chair and Central New York DDSO Local Executive Vice President. 

The Central Region remembrance ceremony was one of many Workers’ Memorial Day events that CSEA members across the state were participating in as this edition went to press. Coverage from additional events will be featured in a future edition. 

— Madison Ruffo 


Top photo: CSEA Central Region officers, region Occupational Safety and Health Commitee members, activists and staff gather at the Ilion site where the region planted its annual Workers’ Memorial Day remembrance tree to remember fallen workers. 


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