On April 23, at a Workers’ Memorial Day Rally and March organized by New Labor and WEC in New Brunswick, NJ, workers stood together to remember those who have died on the job or suffered workplace injuries at work.
Daniel Templeton Comerie was one of the 45 New Jersey workers who died at work in 2016. Daniel, a maintenance mechanic employed by Joint Meeting of Essex and Union Counties, went to work on the morning of March 11, 2016 and never returned home to his family. Nat Bender, Communications Director at American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, and friend of Daniel and his wife Cherrie, read this beautiful testimony from Cherrie.
My husband Daniel Templeton Comerie died on March 11, 2016. The man I married is the love of my life. We were together for 25 years, and married for 21 years.
If you asked me how I feel. I feel dysfunctional, devastated and stricken with overwhelming shock. I spoke to my husband at 9:30 a.m. in the morning, in his office, and at 2:00 p.m. I was told that he was gone.
He was killed on the job when a large concrete slab landed on his chest. He bled to death. I miss him so much. In all that has happened, my family has become very dysfunctional. Things will never be the same, however through my pain, I’ve been working very hard to be there for my four grandsons who Dan and I raised up since they were newborns. They are now 20, 18, 16, and 15.
Thanks to all who have been there for my family and thanks for this group of people who understand exactly how I feel. And most of all thank God and my friend Nate (Nat Bender, AFT-NJ) who truly loves me.
P.S. Dan and I had planned a cruise, so his picture [held up at the Workers’ Memorial Day Rally and March] shows the places we were going. With the help of friends, I took the cruise with a girlfriend and it was healing.
Across the U.S., 13 workers a day – more than 4,800 a year – die in tragic workplace incidents. And 95,000 more die every year from cancer, lung disease and other illnesses caused by exposure to long-term hazards.
As members of National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, we’re joining the call on Congress: #DontCutJobSafety. Instead, we need full funding for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in next year’s budget. To save workers lives, we need strong rules, tough enforcement and safety training in all workplaces.