Sunday, April 28, 2013

Workers Memorial Day precedes #MayDay

Workers' Memorial Day…who do #adjuncts remember on International Worker Memorial Day? That day is today and takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work." Workers' Memorial Day events are held throughout the world.

That reminded me of the opening of Maria Maisto's recent Take Part Op Ed,  
Doug Wright was a highly respected and dearly loved adjunct professor who taught humanities courses for many years at several colleges in Utah. As a so-called part-time faculty member who had the same responsibilities to students as any full-time faculty member, he was given only temporary assignments, sub-professional pay, and was not eligible for health insurance. When he was diagnosed with cancer in May 2009, he spent his life savings on treatment.
Mother Jones' injunction to "pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living" is Worker Memorial Day's slogan. Indeed, an International Worker Memorial Day preceding May Day strikes me as most seemly.

Today, give a thought to those who have died for lack of access to healthcare, worn themselves out before their working through illness because they had responsibilities but neither choice nor care. I include those who have despaired fatally. Although less dramatic and in smaller numbers by incident that plant explosions, fires, building collapses, or mine cave-ins, these lost friends and colleagues are just as much 

Each of us remembers at least one. Who do you remember today while making May Day plans? I remember Mary Miner Austen, PhD, friend, mentor, adjunct, folklorist, inspire developmental writing instructor, UL Lafayette, breast cancer, 1996. You think dss writing is a challenge? Try it on chemo.

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