RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thursday is “Workers Memorial Day” and union leaders and community members came together at the state capitol to pay tribute to workers who have died on the job.

The North Carolina Department of Labor said 189 workers died while on the job in 2020 and the AFL-CIO president MaryBe McMillan says the pandemic made the job even more dangerous for essential workers.

McMillan and state labor commissioner Josh Dobson announced plans to work together on new workplace health and safety goals like hiring more safety and health compliance officers and asking lawmakers to increase pay for those positions.

“All lives matter, all work matters and all workers have the right to a safe job,” McMillan said.

The full worker death toll for 2021 isn’t available yet.