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A Message from Dennis Martire: Safety Starts with Solidarity

The fact that Workers’ Memorial Day and May Day fall during a global pandemic this year is a painful reminder of the hardships facing workers of the past and present.

Moments in history when workers’ rights have made significant advances have also been some of the most difficult. Today we commemorate the reason those times are so difficult - every workplace death, illness, and injury. However, with every passing May Day when we recommit to workers’ rights, we assure that suffering will never go in vain.

At the same time, we must act to limit future suffering. In our fight for good jobs, safety must always come first since a job cannot be considered good unless it is safe. Workers’ first line of defense is the right to a safe work environment paired with the health and safety standards that we also recognize this week. This protection we have today started with solidarity, and our solidarity must now advance and strengthen safety on the job. As long as there is even one worker added to the workers we already mourn on Workers’ Memorial Day, our work will never be complete.

As LIUNA members, none of us are facing this unprecedented crisis alone. Our solidarity remains a source of strength that powers our fight on behalf of all working men and women. Also, I am incredibly proud to know that our solidarity in food drives and donations of personal protective equipment over these past weeks is protecting communities across the region.

Through our solidarity, we have the potential to make real progress out of a pandemic and create safer work environments for all. Stay united and stay safe.