Dispatches From the Cutting Edge of the Fight for Office Security: Short Stuff – Restricted Area

Freedom of the Press is not Complimentary– or Safe: Reporters Without Borders released its annual report last month of deadly violence and violent treatment of reporters and the news isn’t excellent: “An overall of 80 journalists were eliminated this year, 348 are currently in prison, and 60 are being imprisoned.” And it’s worsening. Murders, imprisonment, hostage-taking and disappearances have actually all increased. According to RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire, “The hatred of reporters that is voiced, and sometimes extremely openly proclaimed, by unethical political leaders, spiritual leaders and businessmen has tragic consequences on the ground, and has actually been reflected in this troubling increase in violations versus reporters.” I know a minimum of one unscrupulous political leader who should read this and reflect.

Spreading the Pain: Some federal employers are luckier than others due to the fact that their companies are still moneyed and they’re actually making money for their work. Instead of advising them to prompt their elected leaders to end Trump’s vanity wall shutdown, “the Department of Labor’s assistant secretary for administration and management, Bryan Slater, sent out an e-mail urging department staff to assist out employees at firms impacted by the partial U.S. federal government shutdown,” according to Bloomberg. Slater reminded those fortunate DOL workers that “”This is a great chance to assist fellow colleagues handle their costs, their child care and other everyday needs!” Rather of their employers paying them for the work they’re doing (or desire to be doing), their fellow workers are now being asked to support them while the billionaire President sits in his bed, seeing Fox “News” all day and tweeting lies after lie. Perhaps Labor Secretary Alex Acosta must do something genuine for the federal labor force and inform his manager to end the shutdown.

ADM Cutting Down on Security? ADM has been having problems. Or more specifically, those working in and around ADM have been having problems– fatal ones. Last weekend, OSHA introduced two different investigations into grain dust explosions at ADM corn processing plants in Iowa and Decatur, Illinois. A firemen was killed reacting to the surge and fire in Iowa. The Decatur plant had actually experienced another fire and surge just two months earlier in the grain elevator that serves the company’s corn and soybean plants. As former OSHA Policy Director Debbie Berkowitz observed, “The standard to avoid surges in grain elevators is thirty years old. There are no reasons here for these deadly surges.”

Mining Casualties Down Somewhat in 2018: MSHA is boasting the second lowest variety of deaths n the nation’s history. 27 miners were killed in 2018– 12 coal miners, and 27 metal/non-metal miners. In 2015 15 coal miners were killed and 13 metal/non-metal miners. 2016 saw the most affordable number with 25 killed– 8 coal miners and 17 metal/non-metal miners. Sadly, it only took a few days into 2019 for the very first mining casualty: John Ditterline, 55, of Equality, Illinois, was eliminated January 4. Ditterline was an agreement employee in the underground mine, working for Clay, Kentucky-based S & & L Industries. The mine is owned by Alliance Resource Partners, LP.

McDonalds Workers Leave: Unwanted sexual advances and workplace violence are typical facts of life for a lot of American workers. It occurs. Good managers are supposed to take action to do something about it. McDonalds is not doing that according to workers who explain how they have actually been pestered and attacked at work– while McDonalds’ management does absolutely nothing. Last year, McDonalds employees walked out to object sexual harassment in the workplace, and earlier today”McDonald’s workers in the Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg locations held a walkout strike demanding much better security from office attacks in partnership with the Defend $15 motion and Black Lives Matter” after a video showing a McDonalds worker getting assaulted went viral. The are getting in touch with McDonalds to “establish shop security procedures, and supply protection and a voice on the job for its primarily Black and Latinx ladies labor force.”

Not Getting The Message: Why don’t business gain from previous errors? To try to move them in that direction, OSHA is allowed to release “repeat” violations which bring greater charges– and they have actually been making excellent use of them lately. Coming nearly 108 years after 146 workers were eliminated at the Triangle Shirtwaist factor where exits were obstructed, OSHA imposed a $208,603 citation on a United Parcel Service center in Sharonville, Ohio– for obstructed exits. And it wasn’t the very first time UPS had been mentioned for the exact same issue. Two of the citations– one for $71,137 and one for $129,336 were repeat violations. The OSHA News release noted that” A roller extension unloader device was permanently situated and connected to a belt conveyor restricting the access route, management allowed packages to collect in aisles, and some access routes were lowered to just 7 inches.” OSHA provided a $56,910 citation versus Franklin County Building LLC, a New Haven, Missouri roof company, after a staff member suffered deadly fall injuries when a roofing system truss collapsed. The OSHA citation included one repeat violation, in addition to 5 major infractions. And it may be cold outside today, however it was hot in Woodland Hills, California last July when United States Postal Service employee worker passed away of heat stroke while providing mail when the outdoor temperature reached 117 degrees. OSHA has pointed out USPS”for a repeated infraction of recordkeeping requirements connected to recording heat stress events. Proposed charges total $149,664.”

Illogical Logistics: XPO Logistics continues to have a tough time with worker security and dignity. The growing, multi-billion dollar warehousing giant which contracts, with Verizon, Albertsons and other companies, was implicated of maltreating pregnant workers and other security issues by the New York Times last October. On the other hand, OSHA just released a $ 12,934 citation to the business for the death of 2 staff members, Roger Mangine, 62, and Christopher Klosin, 38, who were killed when 8,800 pounds of countertop material collapsed inside a truck that they were discharging at XPO Logistics’ site in Lockport, NY last June. The Teamsters, the Tennessee NAACP and other groups have sent out a letter to Verizon asking the company “to take instant action to ensure that all employees in your supply chain are dealt with humanely and not exposed to illegal working conditions” and according to Politico, 97 Congresspersons have sent a letter urging your house Education and Labor Committee leaders to start an examination into the supplier. Inbound Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) has actually assured to look into the business’s behavior.

Simply the Facts: When agencies make major policy choices, they are expected to back them up with trustworthy, accurate information or they’re in violation of federal data quality requirements. State Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Congresspersons Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rosa deLauro (D-CT), Mark Takano (D-CA) and Lucile Roybal-Allard (D-CA) who have sent out a letter asking Labor Department Inspector General Scott Dahl asking them to investigate whether the Wage and Hour Department used malfunctioning evidence to validate its proposition to allow 16 and 17-year olds to run mechanical patient lifts in assisted living home. The lawmakers note that the one piece of proof DOL utilizes to validate its argument that the present policy impeded employment and training chances for young individuals is a 2012 study of employment schools that was not even submitted to the docket for public review. The survey supposedly concluded that professional school administrators felt that government age limitations resulted in increased concerns. But just a small number administrators even addressed that question, and most of them weren’t even familiar with the federal government policy that was apparently causing the “problem.” The lawmakers are asking the agency to make the study public as required by a Presidential Executive Order, enabling the public to examine the credibility and accuracy of the data.

Return To Mexico! Abuse of immigrant workers with legal H-2A momentary visa program work allows is on the rise. Why? Employers are “tuned to the age of President Donald Trump’s strict immigration policies: ‘Go back to Mexico.’ This reaction to every gripe ‘was a way to advise the employee the business has the power to fire them and send them home,'” according to a Bloomberg post by Kartikay Mehrotra, Peter Waldman and Jonathan Levin. “More workers are enduring unsettled incomes, unattended injuries and different kinds of psychological and physical abuse, states David Weil, the former director of the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage & & Hour Division under President Barack Obama.” Problems to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office have more than tripled considering that Trump’s inauguration.

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