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The NYC Labor Movement had a strong showing at the Memorial Mass for Construction Workers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday, May 1st. Gathering on the front steps of the cathedral and wearing their hardhats, hundreds of building and construction trades workers joined the banner procession led by Local 3’s Sword of Light Pipes and Drums Band. Local 3 was also represented by Business Manager Christopher Erikson, President Tom Cleary, officers and reps of Local 3, the Catholic Council of Electrical Workers, active members, and retirees.

The annual Mass presided over by Fr. Brian Jordan was dedicated to 13 construction workers who died on the job in New York City over the past 12 months. Fr. Jordan had recently presided over the Workers Memorial Mass in Silver Spring, Maryland, where 14 out of 19 workers were immigrants, including the victims of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore.

“For those of us who remember 9/11, that’s when Fr. Brian Jordan became the building trades’ chaplain,” NYS Building & Construction Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera said while speaking from the lectern during the Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

In addition to the memorial mass, in honor of Workers’ Memorial Day, which is nationally recognized every year on April 28th, the NYC Central Labor Council and the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) held a ceremony at City Hall Park on Thursday, April 25th to commemorate 43 identified workers across all industries who lost their lives on the job in New York City since April 28, 2023. The AFL-CIO also released its annual Death on the Job report detailing the high costs of unsafe workplaces. The unfortunate fact remains that almost all of these deaths are preventable. Remember that it is well within your rights as workers and union members to speak up about potential or actual hazards at work, and doing so could save lives.