Honoring The Fallen And Fighting For The Living
Workers’ Memorial Day 4/28/20
April 28, 2020 marks the annual international Workers’ Memorial Day where we honor all workers that suffered loss of life, injury, disability, or illness due to their job. We join in the solemnity of this day of remembrance to commemorate our fallen workers.
The significance of this Workers’ Memorial Day could not be more profound and necessary in light of the unprecedented tragic hardships experienced by workers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are deeply grateful and thankful to the heroes working on the frontlines of the health crisis. However, words alone are not enough! Not only must all workers be treated with dignity and respect, there must be IMMEDIATE action taken to strengthen workplace safety; workers’ rights; benefits for injured, ill, and deceased workers; and greater legal protections including for whistleblowers reporting dangerous, unsafe work environments etc.
It is with sorrow that we mourn the 422 lives lost in California in 2018 from work related deaths. The year of 2018 marks a steep increase in the number of people fatally injured due to their work. There were 422 fatal injuries on the job in California in 2018, compared to 376 in 2017, 388 in 2016, 388 in 2015, and 344 in 2014. Sadly, 2018 is the first time since 2009 that fatal workplace injuries have been above 400. In 2009, 409 workers passed away due to a workplace fatality. It is anticipated that given the coronavirus pandemic many more workers will pass away due to occupational injury or illness in 2019 and 2020. The full scope and impact of the pandemic is not yet known. We grieve the loss of workers’ lives in California, the United States, and around the world.
Given these alarming rates of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, it is with a great sense of urgency that we must all champion the cause of workplace safety and justice for injured workers. Ford & Wallach is continuing a long legacy of partnering with labor unions, non-profit organizations, worker safety advocacy groups, Los Angeles Trade Tech Community College, and others to fight for workers. We are providing legal advocacy, training, and educational outreach to workers including the most at risk and vulnerable in dangerous working environments. The partners, Scott Ford and Cheryl Wallach, are lobbying through the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association for emergency legislation to be passed by the California legislature for greater worker rights, protections, and benefits in response to COVID-19. Ford & Wallach is proud to fight on behalf of all workers to obtain the benefits you are entitled to and push back against a trend of unsafe, dangerous, risky work environments.