April 29, 2016
By Tara Jessup
New York, NY – Thousands of construction workers, public officials, immigrant advocate, clergy and community members joined together in Manhattan Thursday April 28th, for the annual memorial mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to honor victims of construction accidents throughout New York City.
The annual mass, which takes place on Memorial Day, was also attended by families of construction accident victims. The event began with a bagpipe led procession of five thousand unionized construction workers wearing hardhats as they walked into St. Patrick’s Cathdrel. Father Brian J. Jordan presided over the mass.
“Today we honor non-union and union workers alike who never made it home at night to be with their families,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We will continue to forcefully advocate for saferd construction sites across New York City so that theselives were not lost in vain.
There were 16 work-related construction fatalities since the last Workers Memorial Day in 2015, with 14 involving non-union workers. Deaths at construction sites rose from 8 in 2014. Charlene Obernauer, the executive director of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, has called on city lawmakers to pass strick safety legislation aimed at preventing construction-related deaths.