( – promoted by lowkell)
Workers should be able to go to work and return home safely. Unions fight for this promise every day. When working people have the ability to collectively bargain, they have a say in health and safety conditions on the job. Collective bargaining means workers can insist on protections without fear of retaliation. When working people speak out for better working conditions, it benefits everyone, not just union members.
Still too many workers remain in danger. The tragedy in West, TX is a painful reminder of the consequences of lax safety regulations combined with weak enforcement. Fourteen people including 10 first responders lost their lives and 200 people were injured when a fertilizer plant exploded.
According to reports, the West fertilizer plant had 270 tons of ammonium nitrate (1,350x the legal amount) and no sprinklers or fire barriers. The plant went 28 years without a safety inspection by OSHA. During that investigation, OSHA found 5 “serious” violations and fined the company $30.
No worker should have to sacrifice life, limbs or health to earn a day’s pay. In 2011, 127 Virginians left for work one day and didn’t come home to their families. That’s 127 too many.
Every year on April 28, Workers Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who lost their lives on the job, as well as those who’ve been injured or made sick due to workplace violations. We also renew our struggle for safe workplaces and the rights of workers to basic protections that keep them safe.