Workers, families gather to remember those lost to on the job injuries, illness and senseless violence

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WORKERS AND FAMILIES gathered at Memorial Park in Jefferson City last week for the Missouri AFL-CIO’s annual Workers Memorial observance hours after a Kansas City utility worker was fatally shot on the job and against an unconscionable backdrop of Missouri legislators maneuvering to change the election date on phony “right-to-work” (Proposition A), which will do nothing to create jobs, but will lower wages and reduce workplace safety and benefits. – Missouri AFL-CIO photo

St. Louis Labor Council Union Labor Mass this Sunday, May 6

By TIM ROWDEN
Editor

Jefferson City – The Missouri AFL-CIO hosted its annual Workers Memorial event here April 24, followed by the Federation’s annual barbecue with legislators at Memorial Park Pavilion.

A crowd of 150 workers and families gathered to honor those workers who lost their lives over the past year due to on the job injuries, occupational illnesses and senseless on the job murders.

The event was held just hours after a Kansas City, MO, utility worker, Johnathon L. Porter, 23, an employee of InfraSource, a subcontractor of Spire, was fatally shot at construction site east of downtown Kansas City; a little over two months after Frank Langston, a member of Teamsters Local 682 in St. Louis was fatally struck by a random bullet fired in a nearby shooting; and against the unconscionable backdrop of the Missouri Legislature considering legislation to move the vote on anti-worker Proposition A (RTW) from the November election to the August primary in an attempt to reduce voter turnout, and numerous other anti-worker bills.

Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO said: “It’s a shame that a lot of the majority party in the Missouri Legislature choose to concentrate on bills that hurt workers in Missouri instead of creating more jobs in a safe atmosphere with a livable wage and good family healthcare.”

SENSELESS VIOLENCE

In the Kansas City shooting, witnesses told police the as yet unidentified gunman walked up to a group of workers at the construction site and, after speaking briefly with them, pulled out a gun and fired several shots before walking away.

In St. Louis, Lonnell Lewis-Jones, 25, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in a Feb. 22 shooting that killed Brother Langston and another man.

Police said Lewis-Jones opened fire on a car near Fay and Canyon drives, killing William Dortch, 27. Brother Langston, who was employed by Raineri Ready Mix, was delivering a load of concrete for a Metropolitan Sewer District project about half a block away and was hit by a stray bullet. He died the next day.

ST. LOUIS UNION LABOR MASS THIS SUNDAY, MAY 6

The Greater St. Louis Labor Council will host its 39th Annual Union Labor Mass – now known as the Robert O. Kortkamp Memorial Union Labor Mass and Interfaith Prayer Service – on Sunday, May 6, at 9 a.m. at the Shrine of St. Joseph, located at 11th and Biddle in St. Louis.

The names of members who died on the job specifically or from “work-related” illness, injury or on the job violence during 2017-2018 will be recognized in a special ceremony and prayer service outside the church at 8:30 a.m. All union members are encouraged to attend.

Brunch will follow the mass at Maggie O’Brien’s, 2000 Market Street in downtown St. Louis.

For information, call the Labor Council at 314-291-8666 or email Amy at aphillips@stlclc.org or Christine at cbrame@stlclc.org.

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