Monday, April 28, 2008

The following appeal is, unfortunately, only for our American readers. Those of us out here in the colonies cannot participate. Still, it is a worthy appeal, and fully in line with the Workers' memorial day today. So, if you live in the USA this one's for you. The following is from the Working Families Network in the USA. If any of the links below don't seem to be working you can access the campaign HERE.
Workers and safety advocates from around the world today are observing Workers Memorial Day to honor the thousands of workers who are killed or hurt on the job each year. Workers, union activists, religious and community leaders and elected officials are expected to take part in more than 10,000 memorial services, rallies and marches to remember these workers on April 28, Workers Memorial Day.

Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous. Each year, thousands of workers are killed and millions more are injured or diseased because of their jobs.

These disasters hit home. Tammy Miser, whose brother Shawn was killed in 2003 in a combustible dust explosion in Huntington, Ind., criticized the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for seeking voluntarily--rather than mandatory--safety compliance:
We know that it’s feasible to prevent these explosions. And it is beyond negligent to expect a company that knows about these hazards to voluntarily comply, instead of making it a requirement.
You can do something to help.
Click here to tell your senators and representative to support 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.

More than three decades ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, promising every worker the right to a safe job. But the Bush administration has ignored the need for updated safety and health protections. Administration officials have allowed their corporate allies to police themselves.

We have our work cut out for us this year. In the fall, working families will need to work hard to elect a Congress and a president who will put the lives of workers first, restore enforcement staffs and budgets, and put some teeth back into our laws.

We need to do more than simply trust employers who want to increase their profits at the expense of workers and their families.
Please act now to tell your senators and representative to support the Protecting America's Workers Act.
Workers are still being killed on the job, but employers who are found to have violated federal safety laws in fatality cases are paying as little as $750 in penalties for each death, according to the latest edition of the AFL-CIO’s annual report “Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.”
The 17th edition of the national and state-by-state analyses on worker safety and health reveals that 5,840 workers died from workplace injuries in 2006, compared with 5,734 in 2005. The figures show a continued and significant increase in fatalities among Latino and foreign-born workers. (The year 2006 is the most recent year for which U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures are available.)

The AFL-CIO report shows that 16 workers were fatally injured and more than 11,200 were hurt or made sick each day in 2006. And the price workers pay for toiling in dangerous jobs climbs even higher when the tally includes the 50,000 to 60,000 workers who die every year from occupational diseases.
Help fulfill the promise of a safe workplace for millions of workers.
Tell your senators and representative to pass the Protecting America's Workers Act today.each year.
In solidarity,
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO
P.S. Please tell your friends to take action for worker protections.

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