Labor Council Conducts Workers Memorial Day Program

May 2, 2019

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council (GWBLC) held its 15th Annual Workers Memorial Day Program in conjunction with National Workers Memorial Day, which is observed April 28 nationwide. A candlelight prayer vigil was led by the Rev. Louis Grippe. GWBLC president Joe Padavan read the names of workers killed on the job in Luzerne County this past year. Paul Golias, retired managing editor of The Citizens’ Voice, commented on three historic local mining accidents, including the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Baltimore Mine Tunnel. A special OSHA report was presented by area director Mark Stelmack. Workers Memorial Day proclamations were presented by state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski and Luzerne County Council Chairman Tim McGinley. Deceased workers who were memorialized at the program were William Herbert Sr., Sean Walsh, Jeffrey Engle, Jason Evans and Justin Frederick. GWBLC president Joe Padavan thanked the principal speakers and those in attendance for their interest in recognizing the importance of the Workers Memorial Day program. He explained the program’s intent and how organized labor was an advocate and proponent for the creation of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), which was established on April 28, 2971. OSHA is tasked with safeguarding and monitoring workplace safety, reducing the risks for work related accidents and fatalities. GWBLC officers and principals attending the Workers Memorial Day Program, first row, from left, are Patrick Connors, treasurer; Joe Padavan, president; Patti Krushnowski, vice president; and Bill Herbert, secretary. Second row: Tim McGinley, Luzerne County Council chairman; Patrick Bilbow, Luzerne County Council; Mark Stelmack, OSHA area director; the Rev. Louis Grippe; Tony Ferreira and Kevin McGee, GWBLC trustees. Also participating were state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski and GWBLC Trustee Paul Tucker.