Earlier in November, I was at the membership meeting of the Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH), an organization of conscious and dedicated trade unionists working for workers’ health and safety. I was elected Trustee, and it’s my honor to serve alongside other working-class heroes.

The programs of PHILAPOSH include holding classes for workers, in English and Spanish, on job safety and the use of safety equipment; advocating for workers’ safety legislation in Harrisburg and Washington; and providing attorneys who help injured workers navigate the Workers Compensation system to attain deserved benefits. We work closely with the regional offices of the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

In addition, PHILPAOSH held, towards the end of April, our commemoration of Workers’ Memorial Day,  a day to pay honor workers who were killed trying to may a living for themselves and their families. We march in a funeral procession from the Sheet Metal Workers Hall at 1301 South Columbus Boulevard,  to Penn’s Landing; then hold a memorial service, after which we read the names of workers in the region killed on the job, as a bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace.” as we throw roses into the Delaware river in their honor. Workers are not mere widgets on the assembly line; they are living, breathing human beings, no matter what the corporate state thinks, and we don’t have to accept the threat of death while just doing our jobs.

On Friday, December 2, PHILAPOSH will hold it annual awards reception. The honorees are:

Esteban Vera Jr., Business Manager, Laborers Local 57;

Yuri Reyes, organizer, El Comité De Trabajadorxs;

AFSCME District Council 33’s Members Action Team;

Milo Dabny, member, IAM Local 1776;

Delena Smith, Program Manager, Philadelphia OIC;

Jarrett Smith, Legislative Director, SEIU Healthcare PA;

and Shawn McCarthy, Instructor, IBEW Local 98.

These are workers who see things wring in their worksites and their communities, and organize with other workers to attain solutions–the nightmare of the bosses.

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