Government

Category archives for Government

“In my darker hours when I’m sleeping at night, that’s where I go.” Those are words from Eric Blank, senior director for public health systems at the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), talking about the enormous difficulties that public health labs faced in confronting the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. Now he fears that without emergency federal funds and in the face of new funding cuts, Zika virus will force the nation’s critical public health lab network into that same scenario — or into something even worse.

Eat poultry? Data reveals brands that self-inspect under controversial USDA program

Dozens of poultry plants no longer have a team of USDA personnel inspecting chicken and turkey carcasses. A food safety group used the Freedom of Information Act so the public can know which brands are partaking in this public-health deregulation.

A ‘hidden’ workforce of foreign workers at a Tesla plant in California; Illinois legislators pass a domestic workers bill of rights; Congress uses a spending bill to weaken safety rules for truckers; and lawsuits over workplace leave policies spike way up.

Last summer, 25-year-old Roendy Granillo died of heat stroke while he installed flooring in a house in Melissa, Texas, just north of Dallas. His tragic and entirely preventable death marked a turning point in advocacy efforts to pass a rest break ordinance for local construction workers.

Blame the railroad industry and lobbyists, not the Amtrak engineer

One member of the NTSB challenged her colleagues’ proclivity for citing “operator error.” Her remarks came during this week’s hearing on the May 2015 Amtrak train derailment that killed eight passengers.

Hardly a day goes by lately without another story on companies like Uber and their model of classifying workers as independent contractors while treating them more like traditional employees and sidestepping traditional employer responsibilities. It’s a model that has serious implications for workers’ rights and wages. However, there’s another form of employment that may be even more damaging to hard-fought labor standards: subcontracting.

It’s been 15 years since worker safety advocates in Puerto Rico first began fighting against a proposal to dilute the qualifications associated with being a professional industrial hygienist. As part of their efforts, such advocates developed their own proposal to protect the livelihoods of those with the knowledge and experience to properly protect workers. And after years of work, they may finally cross the finish line victorious.

With near constant news on the threat of Zika virus and a quickly growing evidence base detailing the virus’ devastating impact on fetal brain development, you’d think Congress could get its act together to make sure our public health system is fully prepared and equipped to confront the mosquito-borne disease. Sadly, you’d be wrong.

Workers inside Donald Trump’s Las Vegas hotel speak up about wages and conditions; New York’s governor sides with farmworkers in right to organize; reporters investigate the lack of women coaches in college sports; and Uber agrees to a workers guild with very limited power.

Just in time for Mother’s Day comes more good news from the Affordable Care Act: the rate of uninsured moms caring for kids younger than 19 has dropped to its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.