In Fiscal Year 2009, the federal government budgeted $515 million for sports fishing programs, but gave only $263 million to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the board with deciding workers’ rights violation cases—which frequently arise during union organizing drives.
I went to the Upper Big Branch Mine the day after the explosion, while rescue efforts were still underway. I went not only as the nation’s Labor secretary — the top cop on the workplace safety beat — but also just as Hilda, someone who wanted to be at the side of family members as they waited for news, who could perhaps carry a little bit of their tremendous grief with them. In times like these, one thinks two things: First, why is this even happening? The conversations, the phone calls to wives and mothers, fathers, children? Mine accidents are preventable. No one should have to go through all this. And second: What more could we have done?
The U.S. coal industry needs to adopt more effective dust-control measures and comprehensive monitoring for explosive gases to avoid disasters like the one that killed 29 miners a year ago at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine, an independent investigator said Thursday. Davitt McAteer, a longtime safety advocate who leads an independent team of experts, also said that criminal mine-safety statutes need to be broadened and federal regulators need to abandon closed-door investigations after major accidents.
Discrimination lawsuits brought by working professionals tend to draw public attention, but it’s low-wage workers who suffer the harshest consequences in those circumstances, according to a report by the Center for WorkLife Law at University of California Hastings College of the Law.
The Justice Department Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) has released a new publication, “Workplace Violence, 1993-2009,” that shows a decline in both workplace homicides and nonfatal, violent crimes in the workplace over the last 16 years.
The tipping point for major change is often tragedy. That may be the case in California at the state psychiatric hospital in Napa, where an employee was killed last October, allegedly by a patient — one of thousands of violent acts committed at the hospital that year.
The Missouri House of Representatives last week docked $375,000 from next year’s budget for the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The cut is aimed at eliminating nine jobs at the Division of Labor Standards, which essentially would wipe out the entire staff charged with investigating complaints of violations of the state’s child labor, minimum wage and prevailing wage statutes.
Many people with arthritis have periodic difficulties on the job, but the problems might not make them less productive, a new study suggests. And in many cases, simple changes in the workplace can be helpful.
In a move sure to do nothing to improve their standing in the public eye following the death of student football videographer Declan Sullivan last fall, Notre Dame is contesting an Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration ruling handed down in March that detailed multiple instances of irresponsible safety practices. University and OSHA officials speaking to the Chicago Tribune characterize this development as a benign move on the part of the school.