Category archives for Labor Rights
The newly unveiled granite memorial in Whitesville, WV is a visible reminder of the 29 miners who were killed in the Upper Big Branch mine, but the truest measure of our recognition of their sacrifice is what we do in their memory to protect the living.
The NBC News affiliate in California’s Bay Area released last week a multi-part investigative series entitled “Children in the field: American kids pick your food.” Congress and the White House embrace the fiction of family farms, but children working on farms tell a different story.
In the fall of 2011, a new Texas statute took effect against employers who engage in wage theft, putting in place real consequences for employers found guilty of stealing wages from workers. It was a big step forward in a state where wage theft has become as common as cowboy boots and pick-up trucks. It was especially good news for workers in El Paso, where wage theft has become so rampant that workers rights advocates have dubbed it an “epidemic.”
Yuying Chen transformed from a 15 year old girl who worked in a factory making toys for export, to a woman empowered by a workplace disaster, to an internationally recognized human rights leader. She will receive the American Public Health Association’s International Health & Safety Activist’s award at the group’s annual meeting to be held October 27-31, 2012 in San Francisco.
Last month, more than 70 ironworkers walked off an ExxonMobil construction site near Houston, Texas. The workers, known as rodbusters in the industry, weren’t members of a union or backed by powerful organizers; they decided amongst themselves to unite in protest of unsafe working conditions in a state that has the highest construction worker fatality rate in the country.
Not a single Republican member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted in support of a resolution calling for the Committee to “consider and report legislation to improve safety and whistleblower protections for miners, and increase accountability for dangerous mine operators.” The 29 families of the Upper Big Branch miners now know who is standing with them and who is against them.
When most of us think of sustainability and construction, the usual suspects probably come to mind: efficient cooling and heating, using nontoxic building materials, minimizing environmental degradation — in other words, being green. But in Austin, Texas, a new effort is working to expand the definition of sustainability from the buildings themselves to the hands that put them together.
A delegation of family members who lost loved ones in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine met with senators and representatives of both political parties to urge them to pass legislation for stronger penalties for upper-level officials who violate safety laws.
Tony Mazzocchi was a visionary who was in the forefront of the labor movement’s efforts to secure protections for working people, including strong workplace health and safety laws. He was inducted this week in the Labor Department’s Hall of Fame.
The Obama Administration’s quest to appease businesses’ claims about burdensome regulations awoke a giant in the form of the civil rights, public health and workers’ safety communities. From the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Council of LaRaza, to the American Public Health Association, the feedback on USDA’s proposal to “modernize” the poultry inspection process is loud and clear: scrap the idea because faster line speeds will take a grave toll on poultry plant workers.