Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

GWBLC honors workers killed on the job and late federation President

05.13.12

MAY 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

GWBLC honors workers killed on the job and late federation President

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 2nd- The Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council (GWBLC), which is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation, held their 8th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Candlelight Vigil observance on April 26th.

Since 1989 the labor community throughout the nation have held events, just like the one conducted at the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Local 1776 building in Pittston Township, recognizing April 1970, the anniversary date of the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct).

As part of the event a special prayer was led by Father William Pickard and Luzerne County Council member Tim McGinley read a proclamation honoring workers killed on the job.

According to Walter Klepaski, the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison of the Wyoming Valley United Way, one new name was added to the list of workers that were killed because of workplace injuries during the past twelve months.

Mr. Jason Rowlands of Dalton died on February 10th, 2012 after an accident at work. He was employed by Wyoming Pallet.

In addition to the Workers Memorial event, two labor history books were donated to area libraries in memory of decreased labor council members. Books were donated to honor Sam Bianco, long-time President of the GWBLC, and Jack Costello, a member of the Utility Workers of America (UWA) Union Local 406.

Rick Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania State AFL-CIO attended the event and stated that worker rights, such as OSHA, the 40 hour work-week, and the minimum wage, are under attack throughout the nation.

“He was the first occupier,” said Mr. Bloomingdale referring to Jesus Christ after chasing the money changers from the temple of Jerusalem.

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