Letters to the editor

March 30, 2005

Join us April 28 as we remember our fallen workers

To the editor:

Thirty-five years ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), promising every worker the right to a safe job. Unions and our allies have fought hard to make that promise a reality, winning protections that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented millions of workplace injuries.

Nonetheless, the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous. Millions of workers are killed or injured unnecessarily every year. Some groups of workers are particularly at risk, suffering very high rates of job injuries and fatalities.

These include Hispanic and immigrant workers, who often work in the most dangerous jobs and are exploited by employers, have no union protection and are afraid to speak out.


Unfortunately, the present administration has done little to address this pressing problem and other key safety concerns. Voluntary compliance has been favored over issuing new protective standards and enforcement. Workers are considered more expendable than ever.

Good jobs are going overseas - to low-wage economy countries. On April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO will observe Workers Memorial Day all over the nation.

Locally, the Central Maryland Labor Council will conduct a program commencing at 10 a.m. at council headquarters, 511 E. Franklin St. in Hagerstown. The public is cordially invited to attend. Our quest is to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew our fight for a safer workplace.

Our fight will continue for the freedom of workers to join unions and, through their unions, speak out and bargain for safe workplaces, safe jobs, respect and better futures. Our fight will continue for all workers until safe jobs become a reality. We shall stay the course of "Mourn for the Dead - Fight for the Living."

Donald A. Forcino
Central Maryland AFL-CIO Council

Thanks to all who helped raise cash for animal masks

To the editor:

This thank-you is long overdue.

In 2004, my 15-year-old daughter, Rachel, planned and executed a fund-raiser at Bingo Island for the Benefit of our local Washington County fire departments. We held a family night bingo to raise funds to purchase animal oxygen masks, which will increase the survival rate of animals rescued from fires.

We are pleased to announce that with matching funds from Modern Woodmen of America, we were able to purchase 30 complete sets.

We would like to thank the following people and businesses and apologize if we have missed anybody: The Herald-Mail, Bingo Island, Modern Woodmen of America, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Ron Horn and Superior Dairy, Washington County Board of Education, Leitersburg Ruritan, Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex, Borders, PetSmart, Valley Mall, Circuit City, The Maryland Theatre, Crystal Grottoes Caverns, Pizza Hut, Dominos Pizza, Chick-Fil-A, Boston Market, Target, Fazoli's, Texas Roadhouse, Staples, Kutters hair salon, Boonsboro Video & Creamery, Mt. Aetna Volunteer Fire Department and all the individuals who mailed us donations.

The shipment of masks is now in, and we are working to set up a single meeting to present the masks to all Washington County fire companies. However, we will make them available to any company that wants them sooner. Please contact me at 301-733-7888.

Lynn Bibbee

Special Olympics appreciates help

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to send a special thank-you to Williamsport Red Men Lodge 84 for its support of the Special Olympics.

For the past four years, the Red Men have given a generous contribution for the Maryland State Police Deep Creek Polar Bear Dunk, the proceeds of which goes to support Special Olympic Athletes.

Once again, it is good to know that there are organizations that are willing to help those who need the extra support.

Buck Artz

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