Archives for October, 2016

An injunction temporarily prohibits implementation of an executive order requiring companies bidding on large federal contracts to disclose whether they’d been cited for violating labor laws in the past three years. This demonstrates a need to give businesses with safe workplaces the same kind of deference we give small businesses.

Workers’ wages in China are now deemed to be “too high” by consumer product brands seeking to “source” their products in Asia — so Vietnam has become the new “promised land” for international brands selling clothes, electronics and sports shoes, among other products. Vietnamese workers are now facing sweatshop working conditions, like Chinese workers before them, in the global corporations’ “race to the bottom” in wages, working conditions and rights.

While health policy hasn’t been at the forefront of this year’s presidential election, the next person to sit in the White House could have a transformative effect on health care access, affordability and inequity. Of course, with so many variables in play, it’s hard to predict what either candidate could realistically accomplish on the health care front. However, a new report might provide some insightful clues.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Reporters investigate the man whose research is used to deny veterans’ claims about Agent Orange exposure; former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship goes back to court to appeal his conviction; voters in five states will cast ballots on raising the minimum wage; and OSHA’s new worker retaliation rules are delayed.

Recent pieces address activism to improve the fight against tuberculosis; speaking up against sexual harassment and assault; and more.

EPA’s first major action under new TSCA highlights the law’s limitations and points to continuing role for states in protecting the public from toxic exposures.

In September 2015, New York farmworker Crispin Hernandez was fired after his employers saw him talking with local workers’ rights advocates. But instead of backing down, Hernandez filed suit against the state. And if he prevails, it could help transform the often dangerous and unjust workplace conditions that farmworkers face to put food on all of our tables.

In troubling public health news, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported just yesterday that combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia in the U.S. have climbed to the highest number on record.

After years of alarming increases in child and adult obesity and billions spent to treat related medical problems, one might think health organizations and soda companies would be on firmly opposite sides of the fence. But a new study finds that a surprising number of health groups accept soda sponsorship dollars, inadvertently helping to polish the public image of companies that actively lobby against obesity prevention efforts.

Roughneck’s serious injury: “It changes everything”

The profile of an injured worker in Wyoming puts a face on the issues raised in a recent Labor Department report.