Workers Memorial Day: Painful Year of Loss Reminds Us to Remain Vigilant About Workplace Safety

    

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For UAW members and workers everywhere, there is never a time when workplace safety should take a backseat to any workplace issue. Never has that been more true than it is today, as the world is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

During this heartbreaking season of loss, the UAW has continued to stand as a fierce advocate for tough, science-based safeguards and measures. As reports of the coronavirus surfaced, UAW leadership quickly began monitoring reports, implementing precautions and working with employers to educate workers and implement stringent workplace safety measures. Those actions have included:

  • Advocating for a task force with leadership of GM, Ford and FCA to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.
  • Working with automakers to agree to new measures to assure adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organizations (WHO) recommendations on social distancing and required health and safety standards in the workplace.
  • Negotiating across all sectors and companies including the State of Michigan; casino dealers; John Deere, Case Holland, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and American Axle to implement the strongest measures to protect workers.
  • Acknowledging the acute need for equipment for first responders and working with the companies to protect members’ health and safety first while allowing for volunteers to work paid shifts to meet those needs in a safe environment.

As discussions progress on when and how to reopen the economy, the UAW continues to review, with great caution and concern, decisions being made about restarting workplaces. The union insists that these decisions should be informed by data and that strict CDC guidelines must be adhered to at all worksites, and that prior to reopening, sufficient data and protections are in place to ensure the safety of our members, their families and the public.

“The entire leadership of the UAW has been working to protect our brothers and sisters across this nation and beyond since this pandemic began. We will continue, as we always do, to work tirelessly to do everything we can for the safety and wellbeing of our UAW family,” UAW President Rory L. Gamble said. “On this day, we remember and honor those whose lives were cut short due to workplace incidents and to those members who have lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus.”

COVID

The UAW extends its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and coworkers to our brothers and sisters who died tragically due to COVID-19. This silent enemy rapidly spawned a global pandemic and UAW members were among thousands of victims. “One of the greatest tragedies this year has been the loss of so many UAW brothers and sisters hit by COVID-19,” says UAW President Rory L. Gamble. “This has been heartbreaking for all of us.

Victims of COVID-19

Alfred Adams, Local 1264 Sterling Stamping, Michigan, FCA US
Juma Stallworth, Local 1264 Sterling Stamping, Michigan,  FCA US
Michael Powers, Local 140, Warren Truck, Michigan, FCA US
Michael Hunt, Local 140, Warren Truck, Michigan, FCA US
Don Hamilton, Local 1284,  Chelsea Proving Grounds, Michigan, FCA US
Monik Rice,  Local 1248, MOPAR Centerline, Michigan, FCA US
Ricardo Smith, Local 1700 Sterling Heights Assembly, Michigan, FCA US
Marc Garland, Local 869,  Warren Stamping, Michigan, FCA US
Sylvia Hammock, Local 1700 Sterling Heights Assembly, Michigan, FCA US
Jerry Hayes, Local 1700 Sterling Heights Assembly, Michigan, FCA US
Catherine Bright Pace, Local 140 Warren Truck, Michigan, FCA US
Tommy Hammonds, Local 1248,  MOPAR Centerline, Michigan, FCA US
Lorenzo Seldon, Local 140, FCA Warren Truck, Michigan, FCA US
Jeff Bagby, Local 1302, Kokomo Transmission, Indiana, FCA US
Ricardo Smith, Local 1700,  Sterling Heights Assembly, Michigan, FCA
Donald Chisholm, Local 212,  FCA Transport, Michigan, FCA US
Renard Stonestreet, Local 182,  Livonia Transmission, Michigan, Ford
Donald Milton, Local 182,  Livonia Transmission, Michigan, Ford
David Ramirez, Local 551, Chicago Assembly, Illinois, Ford
Thomas Johnson, Local 900, Michigan Assembly ISA, Michigan, Ford
Michael Billington, Local 600, Ford World Headquarters (EDC1 Building), Michigan, Ford
Gregory Boyd, Local 600, Dearborn Stamping, Michigan, Ford
LaDonna Jennings, Local 600, Dearborn Diversified and Manufacturing (DDMP), Michigan, Ford
Virgil Sutton, Local 5286, Gastonia Freightliner, North Carolina, Freightliner
Keith Cruz, Local 182, Livonia Transmission, Michigan, Ford
Lujuan Partee, Local 900, Michigan Assembly ISA, Michigan, Ford
Emmitt Holland, Local 160,  General Motors Tech Center, Michigan, Aramark
Cornelius Burton, Local 600, Wellspring, Michigan
Kevin E. Dortch, Local 600,  AK Steel, Michigan
Anthony “Pappy” McKendall, Local 1805, Louisiana, Folger Coffee Company

 

COORS SHOOTING

The UAW extends its deepest sympathy to the family, friends and coworkers to our brothers and sisters who died tragically following a mass shooting at the Molson Coors Beverage Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Feb. 27, 2020. Among the deceased were three UAW Local 9 members. “This terrible event was a shocking and devastating loss for us all,” said UAW President Rory L. Gamble.

Victims of a Worksite Shooting

Jesus (Jesse) Valle Jr.,  Local 9, Wisconsin, Molson Coors Beverage Company
Gennady (Gene) Levshetz, Local 9, Wisconsin, Molson Coors Beverage Company
Trevor Wetselaar, Local 9, Wisconsin, Molson Coors Beverage Company

UAW International Staff

The UAW also extends its deepest sympathy to the family, friends and coworkers of our brother Mark Liburdi. Mark served in the President’s office as an Administrative Assistant. He was a member of Local 712 out of Theiss Associated in Bristol, Connecticut.  “This hits particularly close,” said UAW President Rory L. Gamble. “We are saddened by this loss and the untimely death of our colleague and friend.”

Mark Liburdi, Local 712, UAW President’s Office, Solidarity House, Michigan

 


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