Every year on April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew our efforts for safe workplaces. This year, the struggle continues to create good jobs in this country that are safe and healthy and pay fair wages and to ensure the freedom of workers to form unions and, through their unions, to speak out and bargain for respect and a better future.
At The Huffington Post, Alissa Scheller has an article that includes nine charts that show very clearly the key takeaways from the AFL-CIO's recent Death on the Job report. These charts explore the issue of who the 4,600 who die on the job each year are and what is contributing to their deaths.
The latest post in our Innovation @Work section takes a look at a successful, and growing, program in Chicago that helps screen firefighters for cancer—using trained Canadian dogs.
The firehouse dog has long kept watch over the fire trucks (and, before that, fire horses) and has been the faithful companion riding alongside the firefighters on their way to save lives. But now dogs are being used in an innovative way to save the lives of the firefighters.
In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the people or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
More than 5,000 people honored the lives of 157 firefighters and paramedics who died in the line of duty during the past year at the 27th annual Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial service in Colorado Springs on Sept. 21. As each fallen firefighter’s name was called, a bell was rung and family members were presented with ceremonial folded flags.
In a dramatic demonstration of how deadly the global supply chain really is, Scott Nova, director of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), opened a panel on workers' rights in Bangladesh during the recent AFL-CIO Convention with this observation:
Of the four deadliest factory disasters in history, three of those four happened in the last 12 months.
Retail giant Walmart reached an agreement with the Labor Department to make improvements at nearly 4,700 Walmart and Sam's Club locations after an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection at a Rochester, N.Y., store in 2011 found numerous safety violations, USA Today reports. The company also will pay $190,000 in fines. Similar violations were found between 2008 and 2010 at stores in nine states.
There is an alarming increase the number of coal miners—including younger and younger miners—diagnosed with deadly black lung disease. But a proposed federal rule limiting miners’ exposure to the coal dust that causes black lung is stuck in regulatory limbo and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has urged President Obama to end the delays and move the rule “as expeditiously as possible.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) ordered a board of inquiry Sunday night to investigate the contract negotiations between the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) authority and the unions representing the system’s 2,400 workers. The order averted a strike—for at least seven days—that was likely to begin this morning if negotiators were unable to reach a new contract.
The unions, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555 and SEIU Local 1021, told reporters that they hoped the boards’ investigation would reveal BART management’s failure to bargain in good faith and its lack of commitment to reaching a fair settlement.
For the second time in the past few days, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an investigation into a chemical plant explosion in Louisiana. On Thursday, a plant in Geismar, La., exploded, killing one person and injuring 73. On Friday, a blast in Donaldsonville, La., killed one person and injured seven. The plant that exploded on Thursday hadn't been inspected by OSHA in 20 years. It is not yet known when the last inspection was done at the Donaldsonville plant.