Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson and MaryBe McMillan, President, North Carolina State AFL-CIO released the following statement regarding Workers’ Memorial Day 2023:
“Workers’ Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor the men and women who have tragically lost their lives while on-the-job. The loss of a worker impacts not only those co-workers left behind but families, friends, and the community. The N.C. Department of Labor and the N.C. State AFL-CIO share a common commitment to ensuring safe and productive workplaces with the goal of returning workers home to their families at the end of the day. We believe that every person deserves the opportunity to earn a living in a job that respects their hard work and their humanity.
“April 28 also marks the anniversary of the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which represented a tremendous step forward in workplace safety and health. Though workplaces are much safer than in the past, we agree that more work is necessary. The NCDOL and the N.C. State AFL-CIO pledge to work together to effectuate the following safety and health goals:
- Request funds from the N.C. General Assembly to establish and support current and new Safety and Health Compliance Officers.
- Prioritize efforts to fill vacant Safety and Health Compliance Officer positions.
- Work to increase the penalty for violation of Wage and Hour record-keeping requirements.
- Work to add the requirement that employers post notice of veterans’ benefits.
- Continue to recruit bilingual applicants for Occupational Safety and Health, Agricultural Safety and Health, and Wage and Hour Bureau positions.
- Increase transparency by publishing NCDOL activities and statistics on a more frequent basis.
- Continue our commitment to an open dialogue between NCDOL and worker advocacy organizations.
“All working people have the right to a safe job. No family deserves to suffer the grief of a loved one lost prematurely while working for a better life. NCDOL and the N.C. State AFL-CIO can work much more effectively as partners rather than as adversaries. This is the least we can do to honor North Carolinians who have died on the job and to proactively prevent workplace injuries and fatalities in the future.”