ALBUQUERQUE ― Working families, elected officials, labor leaders, and community members gathered at Workers Memorial Park Sunday for a Workers Memorial Day Ceremony to commemorate workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job.
They also spoke out against the Trump administration’s aggressive actions against workplace safety, calling them a dangerous slap in the face to working people.
The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that over 5,000 workers were killed on the job in 2017, and many more suffered from occupational diseases.
This year marks an especially urgent fight as the Trump administration continues to roll back and weaken protections and rights for working people. These actions have ranged from repealing or weakening standards on toxic chemicals and safety hazards, to cutbacks in enforcement, to efforts to eliminate key job safety research and training programs. Meanwhile, the administration has refused to take action on critical safety and health problems like workplace violence, silica exposure in mining and other serious hazards.
“Every American has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. Hardworking New Mexicans putting in long hours deserve to know that they are going to make it home at the end of the day,” said Ashley Long, Secretary-Treasurer of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Yet, New Mexico families are here mourning their loved ones. We are here to fight to end this crisis.”
“Our leaders in government and business should be protecting working people’s lives above all else,” Reverend Holly Beaumont said. “Instead, they continue to prioritize profits over people. It’s time for change. Working people deserve good, safe jobs now.”