Union leaders gather for 'Workers Memorial Day' in Monroe

MONROE, MI (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - April 28th was 'Workers Memorial Day.' It was a day to remember those who were killed or hurt on the job and at the same time call for safer workplaces.

In Monroe on Saturday night, union leaders gathered for a moment of silence to remember the 4500 workers across the country who lost their lives on the job last year.

One of them worked at a steel processing plant in Frenchtown Township.

"People go to work every day and their families expect them to come home and sometimes they don't"  says L. William Connor of the Monroe/Lenawee AFL-CIO.

Adds UAW Chaplain Christopher Hornbeck.

The families who grow up in these fatherless homes tend to be drug addicts and fall into prostitution and so forth."

But there is some good news.

Speakers say workplace safety is improving.

They credit organized labor.

"Unions are getting involved in trying to protect the people and so therefore the companies are starting to put the money towards safety" according to Mr. Hornbeck.

But labor leaders in Michigan say they're about to get locked into a battle with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

He's ordered his administration to eliminate or change hundreds of workplace safety rules overseen by MIOSHA-The Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Act.

"And he feels that the federal standards are good enough and they don't need state standards which at this time are higher than the federal standards" says Wayne Meehean of the Monroe/Lenawee AFL-CIO.

Their message to Gov. Snyder is posted on Workers Memorial Day signs: 'Safe Jobs Save Lives." 

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