Hundreds of members of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York gathered yesterday (Wednesday) in their hardhats at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to memorialize the lives of 16 construction workers (14 non-union; 2 union) who died due to a worksite accident since April 2020.
To mark the unprecedented loss of the last year resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual memorial mass – celebrated by Father Brian Jordan, OFM, a labor priest and chaplain to the Building and Construction Trades Council – also honored those in the construction industry who died of the novel coronavirus.
“This past year was one of tremendous loss for all New Yorkers, which is what made it of the utmost importance to gather together today to honor our brothers and sisters who are no longer with us,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. “We will forever remember and pay tribute to their memory, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that workers’ safety is always paramount.”
Placed in chairs at the front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral were 17 hardhats, each displayed as a solemn tribute to those in the construction industry who were tragically lost this past year. 16 hardhats recognized each construction worker who died in a worksite incident since April 2020, and an additional hardhat was draped in a mask to honor all of those in the industry – from workers to foremen to contractors, owners, developers, architects, office staff, and government workers – who lost their battle with COVID-19.