St. Louis Labor Council’s 35th Annual Union Labor Mass remembers workers lost

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Gary Otten photo
Gary Otten photo

St. Louis – Remembering our fallen brothers and sisters, the Greater St. Louis Labor Council and the United Way of Greater St. Louis celebrated the 35th Annual Union Labor Mass – now known as the Robert O. Kortkamp Memorial Union Labor Mass –Sunday, May 4, at the Shrine of St. Joseph, located at 11th and Biddle.

The names of members who died on the job specifically or from work related illness or injury during 2013-2014 were be recognized with a special ceremony before the mass outside the church.

They included: Patrick J. Bray (Laboers Local 660), John Hahl (Laborers Local 829) and Chris Rawson (Laborers Local 829).

Brunch followed the mass at Maggie O’Brien’s at 2000 Market Street.

FIGHTING FOR WORKER SAFETY

While we remember our fallen brothers and sisters, it is important also to remember what Organized Labor has done to improve workplace safety and reduce worker deaths.

Unions have championed and fought for worker safety throughout their history, influencing state and federal regulations and investing in health and safety education and technical expertise to protect workers’ health and often save lives.

The current push in the Missouri Legislature to make Missouri the 25th right-to-work state threatens not only wages and benefits of union members and the viability of unions, it endangers lives.

The rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher in states with right-to-work laws, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Let us never forget what is at stake as we fight for workers’ rights.

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