In Michigan yesterday, workers not only honored those killed and injured on the job as part of Workers Memorial Day ceremonies at the state Capitol in Lansing, they warned that plans to dismantle the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and repeal the state’s workplace safety law would put workers at risk.
This is a crosspost from LMPartnership.org by John August, Executive Director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.
Unions that are seeking to transform the role of frontline workers in health care organizations know that real change will take more than a high level of employee engagement. It will also take a different type of relationship between managers, physicians and workers. Real, sustainable change will require union members, managers and physicians to commit themselves to a social dialogue that creates more value for the patients and communities we serve.
Wisconsin activists today filed more than 26,000 signatures today to recall the sixth Republican state senator—Robert Cowles of Green Bay—who voted for Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) bill to eliminate collective bargaining rights of public employees.
One sign carried in almost every May Day march of the last few years says it all: “We are Workers, not Criminals!” Often it was held in the calloused hands of men and women who looked as though they’d just come from work in a factory, cleaning an office building, or picking grapes.
On Workers Memorial Day, the global union movement is warning that more lives will be lost at work if business groups and companies around the world succeed in reducing legal protections against hazardous jobs. In the United States, Big Business and congressional Republicans have launched campaigns to turn back health and safety regulations, claiming they hinder competitiveness.
Today, in hundreds of ceremonies across the country, working families are honoring workers who died or were injured on the job in the past year. In a Workers Memorial Day proclamation, President Obama says the nation must:
recommit to keeping all workers safe and healthy [and] make sure the full force of the law is brought to bear in cases where workers are put in harm’s way.
This May Day, working people are rallying across the country to oppose attacks on workers’ rights and immigrant rights. Just as we did on April 4, working people will declare: “Somos Unos—Respeten Nuestros Derechos” or “We Are One—Respect Our Rights.”
Union activists joined with members of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) to rally in front of the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and British consulates in nine cities. The marchers called on British American Tobacco (BAT), the largest stockholder in U.S. tobacco giant Reynolds American, to use its influence to stop “widespread and egregious” human rights abuses against U.S. tobacco field workers.