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More than a Conference... It's a Movement!

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new activist, the National Conference on Worker Safety and Health – June 2-4 in Baltimore -- is for you. Registration is now open, so do not miss this chance to plug into the year’s most critical – and collaborative – event for health and safety advocates.

Our website has all the information you need, in English and Spanish, including an agenda outline and a link to registration and hotel information. In addition, there is an English-language and Spanish-language downloadable flyer, so you can help spread the word.
 

Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

We need your help to make this event a success. Specifically, National COSH is seeking unions, organizations, and individuals to
  • Become a conference sponsor or endorsing organization.
  • Contribute to the Worker Scholarship Program which will allow worker centers and others to participate.
  • Add a link to your website and share materials about our conference.
Your support will be highlighted to the more than 350 workplace safety and health advocates expected to attend. For more sponsorship info see our website, or contact National COSH at (413) 565-2381 or via email.
 

Award Nominations

Do you know an OSH hero? It is time to get your nominations in for the 2015 Health and Safety Activist Awards, to be announced and celebrated at the conference’s awards dinner in June. There are awards for lifetime achievement, new activists, and educators and trainers. Give the tireless activist in your life the recognition that he or she deserves.
 

Support America’s Steelworkers, on Strike for Safety

Actually, we do know some OSH heroes – more than 5,000 of them. That’s how many members of the United Steelworkers are currently on an unfair labor practice strike to improve safety conditions at 11 refineries in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas and Washington.  The job action began, the USW reports, after Shell, Marathon, BP and other companies, “failed to address serious concerns regarding the health and safety of workers and their communities.”

You can sign a petition here to support striking USW members. They’re calling for an end to understaffing, dangerous scheduling practices and unsafe reliance on outside contractors that have led to daily fires, leaks and explosions at U.S. oil refineries
 

Speak Up for Safe Work


National COSH, with help from local COSH partners, has launched a new bilingual website – SpeakUp4SafeWork.org -- that tells the stories of American workers facing daily hazards on the job. The new site provides a forum for all workers to share their experiences on the front lines of workplace health and safety.

In videos and in text, visitors will learn of the daily safety challenges experienced by dairy farmers and warehouse workers, nurses and welders, carwasheros and oil field workers. It will be an important tool for workers, advocates, researchers, journalists, policy-makers, and the public.

The site will allow users to share their own stories, through an interactive on-line interview tool available in both Spanish and English.
 

Safety Groups Call for OSHA Reforms

A coalition of safety advocates, including National COSH, has filed a petition before the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, calling for greater worker and public participation in Commission proceedings. “When employees appear before the Review Commission, they should get a fair shake and be full participants,” said Randy Rabinowitz, Co-Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Law Project.

The Review Commission, created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, annually hears some 2700 appeals of OSHA violations and penalties issued against employers. The outcomes can literally determine whether workers will suffer serious injury or die if employers don’t fix the violations.
National COSH is joined in the Jan. 23rd petition by the Occupational Safety and Health Law Project, North America’s Building Trades Unions, Change to Win, and the United Steelworkers.  News of this effort to give workers a greater voice in Commission proceedings was carried in OS&H Online, Safety and Health, OSHAOnline.com and the National Law Review.
 

A Victory for Workers: NLRB action against McDonald’s

At the end of 2014, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general counsel Richard Griffin issued 13 complaints, involving 78 charges, against McDonald’s USA. The action follows Griffin’s July finding that the fast food giant is a “joint employer” along with its franchisees, and therefore potentially liable for violations of labor law committed at those restaurants.
 
The case sets an important precedent for franchise workers, says National COSH Executive Director Mary Vogel.  “A system that allows huge corporations to hide behind small franchisees deserves to be challenged,” she writes at COSHNetwork.org “Many large franchisors should be held accountable not only for anti-union activities, but – where appropriate – for safety and health violations.”
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