Sadly within the past year, over 4,600 Americans went to work and they never came home. Every day, 13 workers die as a result of a workplace injury, and no kid should ever have to ask mommy why daddy never came home from work. It is a sad reality in this country that our work can be dangerous, and if we don't take workplace safety seriously, your life could be celebrated at a funeral and not at a retirement party. This past year has been a difficult one for Local 83. We are not strangers of knowing the feeling to lose someone on the job. We still mourn for the tragic helicopter crash that took brother Dale Crout, a lineman out of Elmira from us. Off the job we lost brother Jeffrey V. Cooper, a Certified Gas Welder in Cortland and Michael Schulte a Chief Lineman out of Liberty.
Job related injuries are tragic as well. Our brothers at IBEW 325 are still dealing with helping Matthew Vimislik and his family deal with a terrible accident that has changed his life. On May 2, 2012, Matthew was injured in a construction accident. Due to his burns, he was air lifted to Strong Memorial in Rochester. Matt required months of care at the Hospital.
So my brothers and sisters, please join me at the Annual Workers Memorial Day Observance Ceremony, Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Binghamton Factory Fire this Sunday, April 28th at 1 pm. With other unions and community leaders, we will be Honoring Brother John Janos, of Firefighters Local 729 and all who have suffered and died on the job. We will gather at the Commemorative Plaque on the River Trail (Wall Street) near the Martin Luther King statue followed by a Volunteer Clean-Up and Planting at the Binghamton Factory Fire Memorial. Please bring rakes and planting tools if you can. Download the flyer here.
Unions from across the country are getting together to pay homage to those workers who went to work, but never came home. Let's come together and pay our respects to those who did lose a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, a son or daughter.
Because losing your life should never be a job description.
Brother Jeffrey Cooper (left) and Brother Dale Crout with his son Kendale (right).