Media Advisory for: April 27, 2015 /  Contact: Rachele Huennekens, rhuennekens@laane.org

On Tuesday, April 28, the Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition – including dozens of Illinois community, faith, environmental and labor groups – will observe ​the 45th annual ​Workers Memorial Day and thank the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for protecting workers on the job. OSHA recently cited railcar manufacturer Nippon Sharyo for one serious health violation, six serious safety violations, and four other safety violations, and levied $34,500 fines on the company, for hazards inside its factory in Rochelle, Illinois.  One OSHA violation was levied because Nippon Sharyo “failed to put into place welding shields/screens to protect workers…from health hazards such as arc eye and welder’s flash.” Another citation reads: “Employees were exposed to fall hazards up to 17 feet while walking on plywood boards that were not scaffold grade or intended for the use.”

The observance of Workers Memorial Day will also include a commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act and a remembrance of workers across Illinois and the United States who have been injured and killed on the job. Members of the coalition will demand that employers like Nippon Sharyo make workplaces safe and support workers who speak out.

Nippon Sharyo manufactures passenger railcars for public transit agencies, including Metra, and has received $1.3 billion worth of U.S. public transit contracts in the past six years,[1] and $4.7 million in grants, tax credits and training money from the State of Illinois.[2] Nippon Sharyo employs about 600 workers in its railcar assembly plant in Rochelle.

WHAT: Workers Memorial Day observance, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act and raising alarm over OSHA violations in Nippon Sharyo railcar factory

WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Outside OSHA Region 5 Office, 230 S Dearborn St., Chicago, IL

WHO: Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition, community, faith, environmental and labor groups. Speakers include:

• Nora Cay Ryan, Chicago Federation of Labor

• Rev. David Bigsby, Gamaliel

• Nancy Hauter, OSHA Region 5

• Susan Hurley, Chicago Jobs with Justice

• Tim Bell, Chicago’s Worker Collaborative

• Dr. Linda Forst, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health

• Tony Garcia, UAW Region 4

 

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For more information on Workers Memorial Day in Chicago, please contact Marta Perales at 312.738.6161 and marta@jwj.org.   

For more information on Jobs to Move America, please visit http://www.jobstomoveamerica.org.


[1] Source: Jobs to Move America coalition analysis of Caltrans/Amtrak, Metra, Sonoma-Marin and Virginia Railway Express contracts

[2] Source: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-15/news/ct-met-metra-new-cars-20121115_1_nippon-sharyo-new-cars-electric-line