Jobs

Not violating federal labor law seems like a commonsense precursor for being awarded lucrative federal contracts. House Republicans, however, disagree.

Mass firings, blacklisting of fired workers, indefinite detentions of union leaders and worker rights advocates in Bangladesh threaten the fragile gains in workplace health and safety in the garment industry. International clothing brands and retailers are being petitioned to reverse the firings, release the detained, and respect the basic rights of garment workers.

“Alternative facts” on worker injuries in poultry plants

I can thank the Trump Administration for providing a new phrase to describe how the poultry industry distorts information about working conditions in its plants. Assertions about injury prevention and medical treatment are debunked in a new paper published in the Journal of Safety Research.

I’m 100% certain that this is why my body is messed up

A survey of 300 garment workers in Los Angeles provides insight on the unsafe and unhealthy conditions they experience while they meet consumer demand for trendy fast-casual clothes.

Occupational Health News Roundup

The New York Times interviews current, former workers at restaurants run by Trump’s labor secretary nominee; Kentucky lawmakers move to weaken unions; Maryland county votes to raise the minimum wage to $15; and Houston’s new police chief calls for better mental health services for police officers.

A just published book – Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money and the Remaking of an America City – describes how a decade of local organizing and year-round campaigning has resulted in impressive local victories in a Black, white and Asian town dominated by Chevron corporation.  Richmond, California, has set an example and registered successes by local left wing campaigners that contain important and hopeful lessons about uniting allies and successfully defending health, safety and democratic rights.

A union’s persistence results in new OSHA rule for workers exposed to beryllium

For four decades the United Steelworkers had their sight focused on an OSHA rule to protect workers who are exposed to beryllium. The metal can cause a horrible respiratory illness and is a carcinogen. Last week, the union’s persistence paid off.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Workers suffering the ‘lethal legacy’ of a General Electric plant in Canada fight for compensation; OSHA looks into an Arizona commission that routinely reduces penalties for safety violations; advocates ponder the future of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program; and millions of workers get a raise in the new year.

While The Pump Handle is on holiday break, we are republishing some of our favorite posts from the past year. This one is from March 2016: A painter named Jason, who nearly died from using a methylene chloride-based paint stripper, teams up with the California Department of Public Health to make the case for using safer alternatives.

Deadly legacy of coal mining: a thousand new black lung disease cases

An NPR investigation identified nearly 1,000 new cases in Appalachia of the most severe form of black lung disease. The government’s surveillance system recorded just a fraction of them.