Council 4 Marks Workers Memorial Day
Westport Local 1303-385 President Joe Izzo and member David DeMace pay tribute to Anthony Amato.
April 28 was a time to mourn for the dead and fight for the living as Council 4 marked the annual AFL-CIO Workers Memorial Day with a ceremony of remembrance at our Workers Memorial Monument in New Britain.
Executive Director Sal Luciano paid tribute to Council 4 members who have died on the job since last year's event:
- Anthony Amato III, Local 1303-385. Anthony was a Foreman at the Westport sewage treatment plant, a former volunteer firefighter and special police officer in Westport. He was a dedicated husband and father whose family honored us with their presence at Workers Memorial Day.
- Eddie Lee Love, Local 818. Eddie was a Foreman and Superintendent with the Bridgeport Housing Authority. , Eddie was a devoted husband and loving father, a man celebrated for his calming influence on others.
- Iris Maxwell, Local 1716. Iris was a legend at the Hartford Public Library, where she spent 18 years as a children’s librarian, bringing the joy of reading and learning to kids and their families. Members and co-workers from Local 1716 joined us to remember Iris.
- Jorge Soto, Local 1579. Jorge was employed as a custodian with the Torrington Board of Education and also served as a bilingual instructor. He was a loving husband and father of two. We were hnored that his family attended our ceremony.
“Anthony, Eddie, Iris and Jorge left this world doing what they loved, helping others,” Luciano said. “They served their communities up until their last moments. They kept our communities safe and attractive, and they taught our children the importance of reading and learning.”
During the ceremony, Dominic Forcella of Local 2836 (State University Organization of Administrative Faculty) presented Council 4 with a specially framed print of Ernest Withers' legendary photograph of striking Memphis sanitation workers holding their "I Am a Man" signs.
That strike was triggered in part by the death of two AFSCME sanitation workers who were crushed in the compacter of their truck. Their families received no benefits.
Local 1716's William Ball and David Ionno took time to remember Iris Maxwell.
"On Workers Memorial Day, we should remember there is dignity in all work and that all life is precious," Forcella said.
Every April 28 the unions of the AFL-CIO take time out to remember who workers who died or suffered illness or injury on the job. Workers Memorial Day coincides with the passage of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 26 workers were killed in Connecticut in 2013 ( the last full year for which statistics are available), and over 43,000 workers suffered illness or injury on the job.
The Connecticut AFL-CIO also held its annual ceremony on the North Steps of the State Capitol in Hartford, with participants marching to the Workers Memorial at Bushnell Park, where the names of Anthony Amato, Eddie Lee Love, Iris Maxwell and Jorge Soto were read out loud in tribute.
Scroll down to Additional Resources to read about the Hartford event.