Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Editorial - Matt Woodmancy on the Labor Memorial Ceremony

Yesterday, Frederick Smith and I took part in the Workers memorial. It was a somber, but hopeful event, honoring those who died while working at their jobs. It was also the 40th anniversary of the founding of OHSA, which has worked diligently to reduce the deaths of American workers due to unsafe conditions in the work place.

As we continue the struggle to make the United States the Promised Land envisioned by our founders, we cannot forget those who died while working to make America what she is today, and what she is to become.

The event was about the workers in America’s work force today as much as it was about the living. It is our duty to ensure that every work place is as safe as possible and that corporate greed does not get in the way of the value of human life. As the son of a mother who worked for nearly 20 years in a Peoria and Washington plastics factory, I heard first hand stories about dangers that America’s workers face. When the workers at that plastics factory wanted to unionize the owner threatened to shut the plant down.

Unions, despite what the Republicans and Tea Party advocates would have us believe, are needed to ensure that safety comes first, and all other concerns are secondary. Fred and I stood with members of many different unions, local Democrat party officials, and other citizens to pay our respects to those that lost their lives making the country we live in today possible. The almighty dollar is worthless compared to the life of a single American worker.

Matthew Woodmancy

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