REVISED: Community to Honor Those Who Died Working for a Better Life

Advisory for April 28, 2016

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, communications director, // 336-255-2711

Community to Honor Those Who Died Working for a Better Life, Thursday, April 28 at 10 AM in Raleigh

Deaths of 137 working people in 2014 evidence N.C. Department of Labor can do more to save lives

RALEIGH, N.C. – On Thursday, April 28, local workers, labor, and faith leaders will gather to honor workers who have suffered illness or injuries or died on the job. NC State AFL-CIO and others will hold a Workers Memorial Day observance on Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh to honor 137 workers who died while working for a better life in 2014 and to call on the NC Department of Labor to do more to prevent workplace injuries and fatalities. The memorial service will include ringing a bell 137 times and a special acoustic performance of the song Bread & Roses.

The number 137 is 9 more than the 128 initially reported by the US Department of Labor and is 25 percent higher than the death toll in 2013.

WHAT: Workers Memorial Day press conference and memorial service

WHEN: Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 10:15 AM

WHERE: Bicentennial Mall, 16 W. Jones St., Raleigh, NC

WHY: Workers’ Memorial Day is an international day of remembrance for all those who have died while working for a better life. There were 137 such people in 2014, which is evidence that the NC Department of Labor can and must DO MORE to protect the lives and health of working people on the job — more employer education, more inspectors, steeper fines for repeat and willful violations, and more advocacy by the commissioner for more resources and enforcement power to prevent workplace tragedies.

WHO: Rev. Peg Williams, Community UCC of Raleigh; Dr. Farrukh Hakeem, Shaw University Mosque; Justin Flores, Farm Labor Organizing Committee; Abdul Barnett (worker), Raise Up for $15; MaryBe McMillan, NC State AFL-CIO; Keith Burt (performing); Mary Johnson Rockers (performing), Farmworker Advocacy Network; NC Justice Center, Student Action with Farmworkers, NC Council of Churches, Action NC, and Working America

UNIQUE PHOTO / VIDEO: The sight and sound of the steady ringing of a memorial hand bell 128 times and lasting over 4 minutes.  A dozen or more community members, many dressed in black, some holding boards displaying the known names of the dead, while other hold photos of workplace fatality victims or posters, and some distribute handouts to passersby.



The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of local unions and union councils in North Carolina, representing over a hundred thousand union members, fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working people.  PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.