On Workers’ Memorial Day, CWAers Remember Workers Killed on the Job and Fight for Safety at Work

CWA members will mark Workers' Memorial Day on April 28 by remembering co-workers killed, hurt or sickened on the job. With the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress dismantling workplace protections, the work of CWA members fighting on the front lines to improve, maintain, and promote safety at work is more important than ever.

"Many CWA members face job hazards including dangerous, stressful, or risky working conditions," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "President Trump and Republicans have made it their mission to overturn worker safety rules issued by the Obama administration. President Trump has even ordered that for every new protection, two existing safeguards must be removed. CWA is challenging that dangerous, irresponsible executive order in court."

"With these threats, now more than ever before, working people need to join together to fight back against employers that cut corners, violate the law, and put workers in jeopardy. We must make certain that our government fulfills its responsibility to keep workplaces and working men and women safe. As we remember those who have been killed on the job, we are renewing our strong commitment to workplace safety and health protections," he said.

CWA members especially remember these members and others who were killed on the job over the past year:

Ashley Newberry, 34, a member of CWA Local 3808 in Nashville, Tenn., employed as a DIRECTV technician. On February 7, 2017, while driving the assigned company vehicle, he lost control and crashed head-on into an oncoming vehicle. Ashley suffered life-ending injuries from the crash.

Brenda Burke, 65, a CWA Local 9509 member in San Diego, Calif., employed as a customer service representative by AT&T. While performing her normal work operations on April 28, 2017, she experienced an upper respiratory attack/severe distress (possibly related to asthma). She was not provided emergency medical care in a timely manner and died.

Eric Tucker, 53, a member of CWA Local 1118 in Albany, N.Y., employed as a Verizon field technician. On his birthday, August 20, 2017, he suffered a fatal heart attack while performing telecommunications residential service work.

David Dufour, 47, a CWA Local 4100 member in Detroit, Mich., employed as a TFS technician by AT&T. On September 7, 2017, while performing residential telecommunications installation/service work, David suffered a life-ending heart attack.

Matt Newman, 62, a member of CWA Local 6215 in Dallas, Texas, employed as a customer service technician by AT&T, passed away on October 5, 2017, from medical complications related to a fall from a vehicle platform bucket, resultant hip replacement surgery, and the occurrence of a blood clot leading to cardiac arrest during the recovery process.

Frank Hernandez, 32, a member of CWA Local 9423 in San Jose, Calif., employed as an outside plant technician by AT&T, passed away on January 9, 2018, as a result of injuries sustained in a devastating vehicular accident.

Terry Dwayne Higdon, 61, a member of CWA Local 3804 in Jackson, Miss., employed as a Machine Operator for Bell South Utility Operations, suffered a life-ending trauma on January 25, 2018. While performing buried service telecommunication work he was caught in the trenching equipment and killed. Terry's death would have been prevented if the company had assigned two people to perform the work, as recommended by the equipment manufacturer.