Each year on this day we remember the many workers who passed away or were injured on the job.
But the 2021 version of Workers’ Memorial Day hits especially hard because of the COVID-19 global pandemic that doesn’t seem to want to end.
Thousands of workers have lost their lives to the deadly virus. Many were essential workers who, sadly, had no choice but to go to work. There they found themselves face-to-face with the general public, many of whom were carriers of the virus.
These essential workers kept society functioning during the pandemic but more, much more, should have been done to create safer workplaces for them so that so many didn’t have to die needlessly.
And there are the healthcare workers. No group of workers had contact with the virus at the level that health professionals did.
And they paid the price for it. 3,600 of them lost their lives. Many more fell ill.
Meanwhile, corporate profits and CEO pay is off the charts.
The pandemic taught us once again that corporate greed is obscene. The working class needs unions and strong laws and regulations to protect them from a ruthless employer class. We hope that the silver lining of the COVID-19 cloud is the recent awakening that we have seen in union organizing and worker activism. The pandemic has left little doubt in peoples’ minds that workers deserve better.