IAM Local 447 member Stephen Morales, was struck and killed by an airport shuttle bus at LaGuardia Airport last week. Brother Morales, who lived nearby often commuted to work by bicycle, and initial reports are he may have been struck by the rear wheel of the shuttle bus as it passed. Both were traveling on an access road to La Guardia Airport at the time.
Morales was employed by Swissport International, an aviation services company providing airport ground and cargo handling services, and has been an IAM Member since August 2017. “Although only a member of our union for a short time, Brother Morales was part of the IAM Family,” said District 15 Business Representative Perry Esposito. “Members of the IAM are a tightknit family, and this is a tremendous loss. I’d like to thank the first responders who worked desperately to administer lifesaving procedures for our member.”
“The safety of every worker is the foundation on which we stand, and fight for every single day,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “We often say that no worker should report for duty without the assurance that they will return home to their families, safe and sound. It rarely occurs to us that workers can be in harm’s way reporting to and from work, and this tragic accident reminds us that it can. Our hearts go out to Brother Morales family for their loss.”
A memorial brick will be placed in Stephen Morales honor at the IAM Workers Memorial during the 2018 ceremony to remember and honor the thousands of workers killed, injured or sickened on the job each. The Workers’ Memorial Program will be held at the IAM Worker’s Memorial on the grounds of the William W. Winpisinger Center, in Hollywood, MD which was dedicated in 2001 to recognize and remember the union members who are no longer with us.
“My thanks to BR Perry Esposito for his efforts working with Swissport, and others after such a tragic accident,” said District 15 Directing Business Representative Dominic Taibbi. “Many thanks to the Safety and Health Department at Headquarters in assisting BR Esposito in assuring that a Memorial Brick will be ready to dedicate to our Fallen Member on Workers Memorial Day. The loss of this young man is such a tremendous loss to his family, and his extended family – his brothers and sisters of the IAM. Our hearts go out to them at this time.”