Raleigh, NC (April 26, 2022) — On Thursday, local workers, union members, and community leaders will gather outside the North Carolina State Capitol to mark Workers’ Memorial Day, renew the call for strong safety protections, and remember workers who have died or suffered illness or injuries while on the job. At the interfaith press conference and solemn memorial service, participants will toll a bell 189 times – once for each person in North Carolina who died while working for a better life in 2020, the most recent year for which the full death toll is known.

The labor movement has always helped lead the charge to protect working people from workplace injury, illness, and death. This April 28, union members, community leaders, and allies across the country will observe this day by coming together to call on employers and our government for workplace protections from COVID-19, violence, heat illness, and other occupational hazards.

For the first time in over 20 years, the North Carolina Department of Labor will participate in the event. Commissioner Josh Dobson and NC State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan will discuss ways they will work together to advocate for workplace safety. Rev. Jennifer Copeland of the NC Council of Churches and Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue will offer prayers for workers and their families. Surviving family members of people who died on the job are invited to share their stories at the service and reflect on those they have lost.

WHAT: In-person press conference and bell ringing to commemorate Workers’ Memorial Day

WHEN: Thursday, April 28, 2022 beginning at 10 a.m. (10:15 press conference start time)

WHERE: North Carolina State Capitol (south pad), 1 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601

WHO: NC Department of Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson; NC State AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan; Rev. Jennifer Copeland, President, NC Council of Churches; Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue; invited surviving next-of-kin; with support from organizations including NC Justice Center, NC A. Philip Randolph Institute, Raise Up the South / Fight for $15 and a Union, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Student Action with Farmworkers, Action NC, Progress NC

UNIQUE PHOTO / VIDEO: The sight and sound of the steady ringing of a memorial bell 189 times. Dozens of community members, many dressed in black, some holding boards displaying the known names of the dead, while others hold photos of workplace fatality victims or posters.