Labor Rights

Category archives for Labor Rights

Occupational Health News Roundup

California farmworkers living in fear of deportation; Ontario health care workers call on officials to address violence in the workplace; West Virginia legislators consider dramatic loosening of mine safety standards; and thousands of workers get ready to strike on May 1.

Call to action on worker safety for future Labor Secretary

Senators preparing for next week’s confirmation hearing for Trump’s Labor Secretary should study National COSH’s newly released Agenda for Action. “Protecting Workers’ Lives & Limbs” makes dozens of recommendations to improve occupational health and safety policies and practices which will fall under the purview of the future Labor Secretary.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Former head of the federal Wage and Hour Division talks about efforts under Obama, challenges under Trump; news releases on OSHA enforcement actions disappear from its website; Texas lawmakers propose bills to improve farmworker housing conditions; and congressional Republicans vote to roll back OSHA reporting rules.

Last month, California’s Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) proposed revised and stronger regulations for oil refineries in the state after a 4½-year joint campaign by labor unions, environmental and community organizations.  The successful strategic coalition is a powerful example of how health and safety regulations can be improved despite an industry’s wealth, power and political influence.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Navy shipbuilders get lucrative contracts despite worker safety violations; Baltimore airport executive cited in worker retaliation case; thousands of California workers have potentially harmful blood lead levels; and immigrant workers lose their jobs after joining national protests.

Fewer economic opportunities may be exposing black and Hispanic workers to an increased risk of workplace injury, according to a new study.

A recently published book– “Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon” by occupational health physician Paul Blanc – is an historical investigation of the use of carbon disulfide throughout the world to make products. The book describes how the making of rayon led to suicides and caused neurologic deaths of workers exposed to the toxic chemical… and it “names names” of those involved … during two World Wars. We have all heard about lead and asbestos and the legacy of death they created… but none of us has heard this meticulously researched investigative story before.

Kleen Energy disaster anniversary, new worker safety bill introduced

Seven years ago this week, six workers were killed in a massive explosion at the site construction site for the Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, CT. Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), along with Democratic colleagues from the House Education and the Workforce Committee, marked the occasion by introducing the Protecting America’s Workers Act.

The Trump Administration is gearing up to make Federal OSHA as under-resourced and ineffective as it can. Our strategic response has to be more than simply defending the status quo ante; we have to rebuild the social movement that was powerful enough 50 years ago to force another right-wing Republican president, Richard Nixon, to support and sign the OSH Act in the first place.

Occupational Health News Roundup

Obama-era labor veterans worry about the future of worker protections; a draft Trump executive order would allow employers to discriminate based on their religious beliefs; coal miner rulings offer a look at the legal philosophy of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee; and Iowa Republicans move to gut union rights.