News Bite

Whitmer decrees April 28 ‘Worker’s Memorial Day’

Don’t expect the day off, though

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week decreed April 28 as Worker’s Memorial Day. She’s issued Worker’s Memorial Day resolutions since taking office in 2019.

April 28, 1970, is the day when the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or OSHA, went into effect. Organized labor and its supporters has been honoring April 28 as Worker’s Memorial Day ever since. 

“The law was won because of the tireless efforts of the labor movement, which organized for safer working conditions and demanded action from the government to protect working people,” according to the AFL-CIO.

Worker’s Memorial Day commemorates the people who die at work.

Whitmer’s resolution cites U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicating 5,190 people died at the respective workplace in America in 2021, with 140 of those deaths taking place in Michigan.

The total U.S. labor force was 166.1 million in that year, according to World Bank statistics, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged Michigan’s 2021 labor force at around 4.8 million. This would mean about 0.003% of employees died at work nationwide, and the same percentage of employees in Michigan died on the job. 

Workers should not expect the day off. Worker’s Memorial Day is treated as a commemoration, not a holiday.

Whitmer’s media office did not respond to a request for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.