Good Jobs Are Safe Jobs
The following is a statement from Change to Win Executive Director Greg Tarpinian on this Workers Memorial Day in remembrance of all workers who have lost their lives or were injured on the job.
"Every day, sixteen workers die on the job, 134 die from work-related illnesses, and thousands more sustain workplace injuries. These sad facts underscore the importance of Workers Memorial Day on April 28, 2008. Today we remember those workers who were killed and injured on the job and rededicate ourselves to the fight for workplace safety.
"The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted to assure a safe and healthy workplace for America's workers, but under the Bush administration our workplaces have gotten more dangerous, not safer. Current law provides OSHA with adequate tools to investigate and address wrongdoing while industry leaders such as Cintas, Smithfield Farms, and Waste Management Inc. choose to cut corners to squeeze out extra profits instead of protect workers' lives.
"Change to Win unions have led an aggressive fight for stronger OSHA safety standards and enforcement. In the last year alone we have petitioned for a rule and passed legislation in the House outlawing the use of chemicals like diacetyl that cause workers and consumers to contract severe respiratory disease. We've helped win new standards requiring employers a?'- not workers -- to pay for their personal protective equipment. We've succeeded in pushing for stronger congressional oversight of OSHA and negligent employers, and we are supporting legislation to force OSHA to adopt standards on 'combustible dust,' which has caused fires and explosions that have taken the lives of numerous workers.
"But more still needs to be done. Congress and the next president must take action to end government indifference and corporate misbehavior by strengthening our laws to protect more workers, improve safety standards, and enforce mandates to reduce preventable injuries and fatalities on the job, because one worker killed on the job is one too many."