Workers Memorial Day honors
those who died on the job
To recognize Workers Memorial Day April 28, union members will come together to mourn all who died because of their
Two SPEEA Council Reps have been going to
local events for Workers Memorial Day for more
than 10 years, to honor those who have died
and to recognize their families’ loss and sacrifice.
At the Wichita/Hutchinson Labor Federation
event, a bell rings in
honor of each person in
Kansas who died either
on the job or from related injuries, said Donna
Lehane, a Wichita
Council Rep and labor
delegate. Last year, the
bell tolled 54 times (for
those who died the year before).
Just prior to last year’s ceremony, a Wichita
teacher stopped a student with a gun, a poignant
reminder of the dangers on the job. Members of
the Wichita teachers union attended the memorial, including Judy Covert, and her husband,
SPEEA Midwest Regional Vice President Keith
As part of the memorial, held at the Machinists
hall, a guest speaker addresses issues important
to labor – such as workers’ compensation laws
(for those who are injured or died).
“It may not affect us personally but what about
our children or grandchildren? What gets
undone (laws affecting labor) could take years
or even decades to change back to benefit the
workers,” she said.
Kurt Schuetz, an Everett Council Rep and labor
delegate, attends the Snohomish County Labor
Council (SCLC) memorial at the end of April
each year along with other SPEEA members,
retirees, and members of other unions and the
community. All are welcome. Families of those
who died have attended the services as well.
“It really drives home the safety aspect,” said
Schuetz. “Unions have been involved in work-
er safety from the very
At the Everett memo-
rial, which takes place
at the worker memorial
statue by the Snohomish
County courthouse, guest
speakers include a local
city or county leader, as
well as the reading of the names. Last year, 89
workers died because of work in Washington
Last year’s printed program at the Snohomish
County Labor Council memorial listed the
names of those who died, including four workers swept up in the Oso mudslide. The program
ended with the following message:
They labored hard for those they loved. Forever
remembered. Forever missed.
The AFL-CIO initiated this holiday in 1970 following the passage of the Occupational Safety
and Health Act. Workers Memorial Day has since
spread to other countries on this date to honor
those who were killed or injured on the job and
emphasize workplace safety and prevention.
Workers Memorial Day events
• Everett – Wednesday, April 27
• Wichita – Thursday, April 28
See the SPEEA online regional
calendars for details.
Great job on contract
Great job on the latest SPEEA contract
extension. It was apparent that the team
spent considerable time negotiating with
Boeing and got a great deal moving forward.
How many white-collar professionals have
six-year clarity of their pay and benefits?
Thank you again and please keep up the
BCA Product Development
STEM grant appreciated
I want to thank your organization for your
timely and generous award to our Robotics
team, the Scotbots. We have finished
the build season and look forward to the
upcoming competition season.
Our school serves one of the poorest demographics in Portland and it is awards like
yours that allow us to promote important
STEM activities. I hope we will represent
your organization well in coming weeks of
David Douglas High School
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Open enrollment at
Open enrollment to sign up for a health insurance plan at Spirit AeroSystems is May 3-13.
Spirit will have an “active” open enrollment this
year, the same as last year. SPEEA-represented
employees at Spirit must enroll in a plan for
themselves and their dependents or they will
default into a potentially unfavorable plan. This
applies even if they have no changes.
This is also the only time to sign up for the
Flexible Savings Account (FSA), which is an
option for those who want to pay eligible medical expenses income-tax free. Funds do not carry
over from year to year. You have to use it or
SPEEA new hires recently attended training at the SPEEA halls and a socialeventwithbowlingandpizza. At
the training on what’s in the contract related
to retention ratings as well as how to navigate the Performance Management process,
some of the participants had just started at
The Boeing Company a few months ago.
The bowling event was set for March 28 at
Glacier Lanes in Everett.
More training and events are in the works.
Have an idea for an activity or want to help?
Attend the committee’s meetings on the
fourth Wednesday of every month at 4:30
p.m. at the Puget Sound halls.