From the Labor Commission of the CPUSA, updates, information, news, analysis, and organizing materials in solidarity with workers of the world.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Unions say workplaces "more dangerous" under Bush

Report scores on-the-job fatalities

CROCKETT, Calif. — How much is a human life worth? If that life was claimed by one of the nearly 6,000 U.S. workplace fatalities in 2006, the answer is just $10,133.

In its updated annual report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, released on the eve of April 28 Workers Memorial Day commemorations, the AFL-CIO says that’s the average penalty in fatality investigations.

Calling $10,000 for a worker’s life “an outrage,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney warned that American workplaces “have gotten more dangerous, not safer, under President Bush.” Saying “America’s workers simply can’t afford another four years of Bush administration-style cuts, rollbacks and opposition to new safety protections,” Sweeney called on Congress and the next president to “take real action” to strengthen the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to boost funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, fully implement mine safety laws and address the growing risks faced by Latino and immigrant workers.

The AFL-CIO said there were 5,840 workplace deaths in 2006, an increase of 106 over 2005. On an average day, 153 workers lose their lives from workplace injuries or disease, and another 11,233 are injured.

A key finding is the marked rise in fatalities among Latino and immigrant workers. In 2006 fatalities among Latino workers grew by 7 percent over the previous year, and were 25 percent higher than fatalities among all workers.
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