Friday, April 27, 2007

The Protecting America's Workers Act

Tomorrow, workers and safety advocates from around the world will observe Workers Memorial Day—a day to honor the thousands of workers who are killed or hurt on the job each year.

The day of recognition comes only days after a New York Times article revealed how the Bush administration has placed worker safety “in the hands of industry.” Under President Bush, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “has killed dozens of existing and proposed regulations and delayed adopting others,” the Times said. Since Bush became president, “OSHA has issued the fewest significant standards in its history, public health experts say. It has imposed only one major safety rule. The only significant health standard it issued was ordered by a federal court.”

Government records show that in 2005, more than 6,800 workplace-related deaths occurred, along with 4.2 million injuries and illnesses. Labor leaders and health experts say those numbers significantly undercount the problem, in part because the Bush administration has reduced the categories of recognized injuries and because many dangerous jobs are now performed by undocumented workers who do not report problems.

You can do something about it. Tell our senators and representative to co-sponsor the Protecting America’s Workers Act, S. 1244 and H.R. 2049. The bill would expand OSHA protections to millions of uncovered workers, enhance whistleblower protections and substantially increase penalties for serious, willful and criminal safety violations.

You can send an e-mail to Senator Pryor, Senator Lincoln, and Rep. Boozman by clicking here.

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