Workers Memorial Day: Protect Our Rights, Protect Our Lives

April 28 is Workers Memorial Day, when we remember workers killed or injured on the job and renew our commitment to fight for strong safety and health protections.

This year's observance comes as we are in the middle of a safety and health crisis. Not only are hundreds of working people dying each day as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, often due to exposure at work, the response of the Trump Administration has been to weaken or suspend workplace protections.

The theme of this year's Workers Memorial Day is "Protect Our Rights, Speak Up for Safe Jobs." The AFL-CIO has posted resources, including flyers and artwork that you can use as you commemorate the day, at https://aflcio.org/about-us/conferences-and-events/workers-memorial-day.

CWA members have been speaking up every chance we get, drawing attention to the ongoing need for personal protective equipment, ventilator production, testing, and other tools to address the pandemic. We have been making sure that our employers are putting policies in place that minimize the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, supporting workers who are not yet union members as they fight for protection, and pushing for local, state, and federal legislation to address the crisis.

Our commitment to fighting for safe working conditions has never been stronger.

This Workers Memorial Day, CWA especially remembers these members and others who were killed on the job over the past year:

Steven Herring, 55, a member of IUE-CWA Local 83761 in Louisville, Ky., was fatally crushed between a moving fixture and stairs on the refrigerator production line.

Kendrick Hudson, 24, a member of CWA Local 3645 in Charlotte, N.C., died after the tug he was driving hit a piece of baggage that had been left on the tarmac, flipped over and pinned him underneath.

Allan McConn, 62, a member of CWA Local 6171 in Krum, Texas, suffered a fall while on the job. After finishing the job he drove himself home. He went into a coma and was rushed to the hospital where he passed away.

Tommy N. Ngo, 35, a member of IUE-CWA Local 87020 in Denver, Colo., died when a transformer that he was servicing exploded.

Larry Shroeder, 53, a member of CWA Local 6137 in Corpus Christi, Texas, died when he was hit and killed by a drunk driver while on the job.

Fatalities as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to rise. While it is difficult to know how someone may have been exposed to the virus, we do know that many people have been exposed while at work.

The following COVID-19 related deaths have been reported to CWA's Health and Safety Department as of April 22. We have established a memorial page for members who have lost their lives to COVID-19, which we will continue to update.

Rolondo "Sonny" Aravena, a member of CWA Local 1101 in New York, N.Y.
Richard Austin, a member of CWA Local 1182 in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Priscilla Carrow, a member of CWA Local 1180 in New York, N.Y.
Maria Clark, a member of CWA Local 1037 in Newark, N.J.
Zeke Cousins, Chief Steward and member of CWA Local 1101 in New York, N.Y.
Karisma Dargan, a member of CWA Local 1182 in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Larry Edgeworth, a member of NABET-CWA Local 51011 in New York, N.Y.
Alan Finder, a member of TNG-CWA Local 31003 in New York, N.Y.
Cynthia (Neicey) Ford, a member of CWA Local 1037 in Newark, N.J.
Eddie Germain, a member of CWA Local 1032 in Newton, N.J.
Tony Greer, a member of NABET-CWA Local 51016 in New York, N.Y.
Gerald Hall, a member of CWA Local 4100 in Detroit, Mich.
Anick Jesdanun, a member of TNG-CWA Local 31222 in New York, N.Y.
Jason Lewis, a member of CWA Local 1182 in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Steven Michael, a member of CWA Local 1180 in New York, N.Y.
Robert Moody, a member of CWA Local 1180 in New York, N.Y.
Cynthia Moss, a member of CWA Local 1000 in Cranford, N.J.
Marius Narcisse, a member of CWA Local 1180 in New York, N.Y.
Dr. Gene Nebel, a member of CWA Local 1040 in Trenton, N.J.
Cletus Nwachukwu, a member of CWA Local 1037 in Newark, N.J.
Eunice Oden, a member of CWA Local 1183 in New York, N.Y.
John Pong, a member of CWA Local 1037 in Newark, N.J.
Carol Ryer, a member of CWA Local 1182 in Forest Hills, N.Y.
Cheryl Shingles, a member of CWA Local 1081 in Newark, N.J.
Walter Simpson, a member of CWA Local 1105 in Lake Success, N.Y.
Richard Stewart-Johnson, a member of CWA Local 1101 in New York, N.Y.
Nicole Varlow-Graves, a member of CWA Local 1000 in Cranford, N.J.
José Vázquez, a member of CWA Local 4299 in Chicago, Ill.

An additional 10 COVID-19 related fatalities have been reported for CWA members whose names have not yet been publicly released.