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Labor Leaders, Elected Officials, Faith Leaders Honor 56 Oregon Workers Who Died on the Job in 2023 

PORTLAND & SALEM, ORE. - Local workers, officials and community members gathered at Portland Fire and Rescue Station 21 on the Eastbank Esplanade in Portland and at the Fallen Worker Memorial in Salem today, Friday, April 26 for Workers Memorial Day ceremonies remembering workers who have died or suffered fatal illnesses or injuries while on the job in 2023.


 

VIDEO: Click here to view a recording of the event in Portland, and click here to view a recording of the event in Salem. 


 

“Everyone has the right to a safe workplace. Working people and our families deserve to know we will make it home at the end of the day unharmed,” said Graham Trainor, Oregon AFL-CIO President. “Yet, too many Oregonian families are mourning their loved ones. We’re here to fight together and protect our job safety rights from rollbacks and attacks. Our leaders in government and business should be protecting working people’s lives above all else.”
“It’s time for action to protect workers from life-threatening job hazards that have plagued our workplaces: From workplace violence that is not just ‘part of the job,’ to  heat illness as we enter warmer weather and so many more,” Trainor said. “All working people deserve safe and family-sustaining jobs, and we’re not going to stop fighting until that promise becomes a reality.” 

In 2023, 56 workers were killed on the job in Oregon while many more suffered from occupational illnesses or were injured on the job. Corporations put profits over safety. Too many employers and workers never see OSHA in their workplace. A lack of investment means that workers are not adequately protected from retaliation when speaking out against unsafe working conditions. Congressional Republicans are trying to cut job safety agency budgets so they cannot enforce the law in dangerous workplaces. 


Governor Tina Kotek, the Multnomah County Commission, the Salem City Council and the Bend City Council all issued proclamations declaring April 28 to be Workers Memorial Day.  Given the event falls on a Sunday, organizers opted to hold ceremonies today, Friday, April 26. 


The events featured multiple speakers who emphasized the need to hold on to our job safety rights, and the need for workers to have the right to organize in their workplaces to win safer working conditions and a better life.  


Portland Speakers

  • Christina Stephenson, Oregon Labor Commissioner

  • State Representative Dacia Grayber

  • Graham Trainor, Oregon AFL-CIO President

  • Karl Koening, Oregon State Firefighters Council President

  • Laurie Wimmer, Northwest Oregon Labor Council Executive Secretary

  • Issac McLennon, IAFF Local 43 President

  • Reverend Mark Knutsen, Augustana Lutheran Church


Salem Speakers  

  • House Majority Leader Ben Bowman 

  • Vince Porter, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Tina Kotek

  • Renée Stapleton, Administrator, Oregon OSHA 

  • Graham Trainor, Oregon AFL-CIO President

  • Liz Marquez Gutierrez, Political Organizer, PCUN 

  • Reverend Rick Davis, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem

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