The United States President Joe Biden has declared April 28 as the country’s workers’ day, while reiterating the commitment of his administration to their safety and welfare.
While disclosing this in a statement on Tuesday April 27, 2021, Biden stated that America’s workers were “the backbone of our economy”.
“In every state, territory, and tribal land, they leave their homes and families and head to work — applying their grit and skill to create, serve, and service all those things that make our world turn.
“Even during our Nation’s most difficult periods, American workers have always persevered, ensuring that our communities remain resilient and that our Nation stands ready to confront the unforeseen challenges of each new generation.
“Though workers make tremendous sacrifices — especially essential workers who selflessly serve their communities during times of crisis — none of them should have to risk injury, illness, or death in order to provide for themselves and their families,” the statement reads.
He expressed his displeasure that thousands of workers are killed and millions more are hurt or fall ill every year in the workplace. He stressed that the incidents that were often preventable.
“On the 50th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, we reflect on the workers who have tragically lost their lives or have been harmed in the workplace, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that every American worker has a safe and healthy work environment,” the president said.
He noted that over the past century, labor unions had fought hard to draw attention to unsafe workplace environments and organize for safer work conditions and protections from the Federal Government.
“Despite the progress we have made cementing workplace protections into law, many workers still fear retaliation and retribution from management when they are asked to perform unsafe tasks or work in unsanitary conditions.
“This fear forces many workers to remain silent, putting their lives and the lives of their colleagues at risk,” the statement says.
It adds, “In an economic system that puts too much power in the hands of wealthy corporations and Wall Street, unions give workers a way to band together, wield their full power, and stand on equal footing with management.
“Unions not only protect the physical wellbeing of workers, but they also protect their financial security; they protect workers’ equity, too, helping ensure that workplaces are free from harassment and discrimination.
“It is no surprise that during this same period, the average incomes of the bottom 90 percent of households in America have only risen by about 1 percent.”
Biden, therefore reiterated the commitment of his administration to protecting the lives, rights, and livelihoods of workers and reducing workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
“That is why I strongly encourage the Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021 — and why I included the PRO Act as part of my American Jobs Plan,” he said.
According to him, the decision to form a union should belong to workers alone — free from coercion, interference, or intimidation.
“Today, we mourn each treasured life taken away on the job. Those stricken by disease and fatal injuries as they keep America running deserve a dedicated day of grateful prayer and remembrance from the living.
“Workers Memorial Day impels us to work for a future where no one should have to risk their life for a paycheck,” the president said.
“I, by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 28, 2021, as Workers Memorial Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and education programs and ceremonies in memory of those killed or injured due to unsafe working conditions,” he concluded.