All posts by Schultz James

I am a worker. A worker affected by workplace injury and illness.

Worker’s Memorial Day 2013

On Sunday, April 28, 2013 WisCOSH will join together with workers, advocates and employers to both “Mourn for the Dead” and “Fight Like Hell for the Living“. You are invited to join us in Milwaukee, WI at the events.

  1. Fight Like Hell for the Living

    WisCOSH is hosting a fundraiser Chili Dinner and a discussion on current and proposed actions at the State and Federal levels which are or may have an effect on worker and/or workplace safety and health. There have been a number of proposed laws and changes to laws which is, will or could impact workers lives and livelihood. There is no cost to attend and participate in this discussion. Rep. Gwen Moore, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Mayor Tom Barrett among others have been invited to speak.

    This year WisCOSH will host a lunchtime Chili Dinner which will include 2 kinds of chili [vegetarian, meat], fixings [cheese, peppers, crackers, hot sauces], homemade cornbread and desserts. A variety of beverages will also be available. Please notify WisCOSH in advance if possible if you need the vegetarian dinner so that we can ensure there will be enough.

    The cost for the meal is $10 paid in advance or $12.50 at the door. Children’s meal is $5. Checks or money orders can be sent to: WisCOSH Office & Worker Training center, 1535 W. Mitchell St., Milwaukee, WI 53204. If you want/need to pay in cash please call (414) 933-2338 before coming to the office to ensure someone is available to help you as the office is only open for limited hours during remodeling.

    After the meal and discussion WisCOSH will lead a procession over to Zeidler Union Square Park for the commemmoration event.

  2. Mourn for the Dead

    Workers are invited to gather at Zeidler Union Square Park and commemmorate those workers lost to workplace incident or exposures in 2012. Sheila Cochran of the Milwaukee Area Labor Council will be the Master of Ceremonies. A number of speakers have been invited to speak including Rep. Gwen Moore, Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm. WisCOSH will read the names of those workers known to have died due to workplace incident or from workplace exposure as well as the names of those military personnel from WI that were killed while deployed followed by a moment of silence and candlelight vigil.

Watch this space for updates or visit WisCOSH‘s Facebook Page Events for updates and further information. WisCOSH Worker’s Memorial Day flier

Workers Lose Life, Businesses Reap Prophits

It’s another day.
Just like any other day.
A worker dies on the job every 14 minutes of the day. All day.
Another family loses an income. A father or mother. A son or daughter. A neighbor. A friend.
Then there are the workers exposed to hazardous materials on the job and die slowly over the course of years and decades.

It’s February 14th. Valentines Day. For most folks it’s a day to celebrate love, friendship and togetherness. For many people it’s an anniversary. A time to spend some romantic or quiet time together.

For workers it’s an anniversary too. But it’s not a happy one. It’s not one that anyone will ‘celebrate’ or enjoy. Today marks 2 years that the proposed standard has been stuck in the depths of OMB waiting for the chance to be published so that public comment can be taken. Once it goes to OMB a proposed standard has 90 days for review and should then be published so that the general public can read it and weigh in on it. It’s allowed to extend the review period by 45 days. It’s been 2 years! 730 days.

Two more years that workers have been exposed to silica in the workplace making it much more likely workers will contract, and eventually die, from one or more of the many illnesses related to silica exposure. Two more years of talking heads telling that regulation is bad and costs jobs. Two more years where workers and their families wondering what good the jobs are when they kill the worker. Slowly, over the course of many years.

But don’t worry too much. In the 2 years that the silica rule has been sitting at the OIRA there have been plenty of meetings about it and lots of discussion. Business has met with Whitehouse many times to discuss the proposal and it’s economic impact. Closed door meetings. Public not welcome. Business has had two years to apply pressure on the Whitehouse [which chose not to make worker concerns or desires a leading plank in it’s reelection campaign] to weaken, delay or kill the proposal.

While corporate lobbyists have had their say in the matter no one else has been allowed to. Won’t you take 5 or 10 minutes of your day to make a couple phone calls and urge the process along. Call your Congressmen/women. Call your President. Call Now!

  •  

  • Congress [Toll Free]: (888) 245-3381
    1. Press 1 to speak to your Representative
      • Enter Zip Code and you’ll be transferred to your Representative
    2. Press 2 to speak to your Senator
      • Enter Zip Code and you’ll be transferred to your Senator
  • Whitehouse: 1 (202) 456-1414 or if you’d prefer to write it down you can visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/html/contact_the_whitehouse.html.

Worker and Consumer Health and Safety to be at Increased Risk

The USDA continues to push forward with it’s proposal to “modernize poultry slaughter“. From their own headline this proposal is more about helping increase business profits with some marginal “gains” for taxpayers. Their headline blares out “$90 million over 3 years” as the benefit to taxpayers while citing “$256 million annually” for business. If my math is right that means for every 12 cents in taxpayer money saved business makes $1.00. WisCOSH is not against saving tax money. But not at the expense of the American public’s and workforce’s health and safety. Because of the public and workforce outcry the USDA had extended the “comment period”.

This proposal is worrisome on at least several levels:

  1. it reduces the number of inspectors by hundreds
  2. it allows greatly increasing the production linespeed [up to 175 bpm per line] for workers
  3. would leave the task of spotting [and presumably discarding] diseased and/or defective birds to the poultry companies
  4. There is no requirement for plant operators to train workers taking over job duties previously performed by Federal inspectors

The proposal makes many references to the amount of money per pound that plants will save upon going to the new process but few to the increased ability to protect the food supply. Or the consumer. Or the workers.There is a large, and growing, contingent of groups opposing this proposal. WisCOSH encourages you to contact your Senators and representative in Congress. And the USDA. And the President. Today. The health and safety of thousands of poultry line workers is depending on it. And so does that sandwich or dinner you were thinking of having.

Call Now

  • Congress [Toll Free]: (888) 245-3381
    1. Press 1 to speak to your Representative
      • Enter Zip Code and you’ll be transferred to your Representative
    2. Press 2 to speak to your Senator
      • Enter Zip Code and you’ll be transferred to your Senator
  • Whitehouse: 1 (202) 456-1414
  • Tom Vilsack [Secretary of USDA]: (202) 720-3631