Labor Rights

Category archives for Labor Rights

Labor Day review of significant efforts by states and localities to address (or not) workers’ rights and safety protections

Section 3 of the second annual report on US worker health and safety offers a review of activities at the State and local scene, as well as reports from non-profits and investigations by journalists.

In their efforts to protect the most vulnerable workers from illegal workplace practices and conditions, worker centers have now attracted the million-dollar ire of formidable anti-union forces. And while advocates say it’s a sign of worker centers’ success, it’s still a worrisome trend that’s made it all the way to the halls of Congress.

Do you want overworked inspectors in charge of your meat’s safety?

Some USDA meat and poultry inspectors work many hours of overtime. USDA insists it doesn’t affect their critical food safety responsibilities.

Fair working standards for construction workers and financial profit for developers aren’t incompatible, according to a new report from Texas’ Workers Defense Project. In fact, consumers are actually willing to pay more to live in places built on principles of safety, economic justice and dignity.

Houston lawmakers poised to tackle wage theft

Members of Houston’s City Council held a public hearing this week to discuss a proposed ordinance to beef up sanctions against companies who don’t pay employees their lawfully owed wages. Penalties will include a prohibition from getting city contracts, permits and licenses.

On July 15 and 16, about two dozen farmworkers paid an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill to ask Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House to support increased protection from exposure to pesticides. Farmworkers have lobbied Congress before, but this is the first time such a visit focused entirely on pesticide exposure…

When I asked Teresa Schnorr why we should be worried about the loss of a little-known occupational health data gathering program, she quoted a popular saying in the field of surveillance: “What gets counted, gets done.”

Sharon Thomas-Ellison works hard for her paychecks at Jimmy John’s. On occasion when no one else is available, the 19-year-old has worked from 11 in the morning until 1 a.m. at night with just a 30-minute break — and it’s okay, she says, she needs the extra income.

Harsh working conditions in US poultry and meatpacking plants violate human rights, OAS Commission to review the claim

Civil rights groups filed a petition today with the Organization of American States’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights asserting that the U.S. government has failed to protect poultry and meatpacking workers from permanently disabling and life altering work-related injuries and other abuses.

Every week, the Austin-based Workers Defense Project welcomes standing room-only crowds to its Workers in Action meetings. And once a month, a local OSHA representative would join the meeting, giving some of Texas’ most vulnerable workers the chance to meet face-to-face with the agency. Unfortunately, due to the federal sequester, OSHA has had to indefinitely suspend its participation. It’s a significant loss.