Monday, May 19, 2014

Bloggers, unions being heard on workplace safety

Earth haters like South Dakota's junior senator, Wyoming and North Dakota's governors have been whining that unions support the construction of the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline but do you think they support unions?

Don't be stupid.

Tom Ricker is president of the North Dakota AFL-CIO:
With a total of eight OSHA inspectors for both North Dakota and South Dakota combined, it would take OSHA around 111 years to inspect every work site in North Dakota. There are far too few safety professionals working for OSHA to effectively keep up with the rapidly increasing workload in our state. We need to call on our congressional delegates to work with OSHA to increase staffing levels for the North Dakota OSHA office, reopen the South Dakota OSHA office that was closed 33 years ago, and ensure that OSHA pay keeps up with the rapidly rising cost-of-living in western North Dakota, enabling them to retain top-quality workplace safety professionals. This seems like a good place to start in fighting so that in future years, we have fewer names to read. [Fargo-Moorhead INFORUM]
The Casper Star-Trib editorial board gets it:
Thirty five workers died on the job in Wyoming last year, the same number as the previous year and the most since 2007. Consider that for a moment: That's 35 people no longer going home to families, chasing hobbies or dreaming of the future. Let's restart the conversation about worker safety -- where we're at, and where we should be. The 35 workers who died last year bear witness we've got a way to go. [Editorial board: Time for lawmakers to restart worker safety conversation]
So did the Aberdeen American News: it was even reprinted by the Rapid City Journal.
A hard day’s work should not equal a death sentence. But a new report shows that both Dakotas have problems in workplace fatalities. It is not a new problem, but one that our states need to continue to work on. “North Dakota stands out as an exceptionally dangerous and deadly place to work,” according to the new AFL-CIO report from the nation’s largest labor union. [Our Voice: Workplace fatalities focuses on Dakotas]
Workers are needed to build strong unions:
The need for construction workers in North and South Dakota has never been greater. To keep up with demand, trade groups are trying to recruit workers across the two states. Will Thomssen [w]ith the International Union of Operating Engineers said, "As of right now we have standing orders for crane operators to run these pieces of equipment. We actually have more pieces of equipment, than we do operators." Many of the trades require training, which is often times paid for. [Jill Johnson, KDLT teevee]


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