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May 22, 2019
 Anthony Sessa
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BMWED Workers Killed on the Job 2018
Updated On: Apr 28, 2019

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All

March 12, 2018

Quintin Pasley, of BMWED Lodge 225 with the Allied Federation, was working on CSX in the S3 System Gang. He was killed in Wartrace, Tennessee, after being caught under a ballast regulator. Brother Pasley was 59 years old with 39 years of service.
April 24, 2018 Luke Gsell, of BMWED Lodge 3012 with the Pennsylvania Federation, was working with Production Gang Undercutter at Bowie, Maryland when he was struck by Amtrak Train #86. Brother Gsell was 20 years old and had 8 months of service.
September 5, 2018 Joshua A. (Josh) Crocram, BMWED Lodge 2409 of the Atchison, Topeka &Santa Fe Frisco System Federation, was working on BNSF when he was killed in a fall from a bridge over the Baldwin Canal in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. His body was eventually recovered. Brother Crocram was 26 years old with 4 years of service.
November 3, 2018 Omar Solis, BMWED Lodge 469 of the Illinois Central Gulf Federation, was working for METRA adjacent to a station in the Old Irving Park neighborhood when his O/A burning rig exploded. Another worker was injured. Brother Solis was 37 years old with 17 years of service.
November 30, 2018 John Eric Youmans, BMWED Lodge 2167 of the Allied Federation, was welding a frog on CSX tracks near MLK Boulevard in Estill, SC. He had a watchman lookout or tap-man, yet was still struck by a freight train doing 50mph. Brother Youmans was 34 years old and had 10 years of service.
December 17, 2018 Vincent J. Spooner, Jr., Local 52 with our sister union, the BRS, was killed when the work truck he was driving was struck head on. Brother Spooner was working on the Providence and Worcester, was 52 years old with 23 years of service.


An Injury To One Is An Injury To All

April 26, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA - By 8:00am, hundreds had gathered at the SheetMetal Workers Hall in South Philly, for the solemn purpose of honoring the 112 workers in the area who died due to job-related injuries and illnesses. The Pennsylvania Federation was there and included in the tally 6 railroad workers, 5 from the BMWED and 1 from our sister union, the BRS. 

For nearly 30 years, PhilaPosh has hosted this annual event, which today included a breakfast accompanied by speech makers such as Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Keeney. During the commemorations, stories of the fatality and a brief biography of those killed was shared, followed by the placement of a rose on the coffin. Heads hung to the sound of the bagpipes playing, as this group of several hundred mourners made up of Labor Activists, Politicians, Faith-Based leaders, family members and concerned citizens paid tribute to those that died in workplace accidents in 2018. 

Workers Memorial Day lets us be reminded and recommit to making sure all workers, in all places, can work in a safe and protected environment. And for the workers that have lost their lives, let us remind their families that they will never be forgotten.

Congress passed the Occupational Health and Safety Act nearly 50 years ago, promising every worker the right to a safe job. Despite this, thousands of workers are killed and millions more suffer injury or illness because of their jobs and job-site hazards. Every day workers go to work, and every day there’s a chance that we won't return home. On the railroad, it’s been said that when things go wrong, they go really wrong, real quick. And when things go wrong families become devestated, the bread winner stops winning bread and working class dreams turn into the nightmares of insecurity and uncertainty.

The Trump administration has now weakened OSHA, including slashing protections for whistle-blowers who report safety problems. The Orange Menace has also repealed workplace safety laws, such as the one that requires corporations in dangerous industries to electronically submit injury and illness information, a change that makes it harder for safety inspectors to track trends. Resulting from Trump’s funding cuts, OSHA has let staffing get so low that the agency is now forced to cut back on the limited enforcement that they already have. This deterioration of safety regulation and protections will have short and long-term effects, and Workers will pay the price with more injuries and more worker deaths.

Preventing workplace deaths will take a lot more than ceremonies and mock funerals and roses. It will take more than cleverly crafted slogans and meme’s or eye-catching tee shirts. It will take the militant insistence of workers that there are more safety inspectors, more safety training, more enforcement of safety rules, more penalties, and more involvement by administrators. It will take workers actively organizing, at the polls, in the workplace and in the community if we’re going to have a chance at being successful in realizing our goal, the end of workplace deaths and illnesses. It will take the open opposition of our government and our redefining the department of labor, both who currently embrace a philosophy of less – less regulation, less enforcement, less fines.

According to statistical data, over 5,000 people died on the job in 2018. That's almost 14 workers dying each day due to hazardous working conditions. On top of that, an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 workers passed away last year from occupation-related diseases. That’s like 165 workers dying each and every day from job related illnesses. Can we eliminate or at least reduce the death and ill numbers for the next decade? Only if we insist.

Resist and Insist

Here’s a link to our photo gallery and the 2019 Workers Memorial Day in Philly. 

Here’s a link to an article by Philly.com

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All



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