Petrochemical companies spend millions to undermine the science on benzene; in-depth series sheds light on the horrific working conditions in Mexico's agricultural sector; National Labor Relations Board rules in favor of worker organizing; and federal officials grilled on response to West fertilizer explosion.
In announcing National Farm Safety Week, President Obama emphasized his Administration's commitment to reducing hazards of agricultural work – including for young people. So how are we doing at protecting children and teens working on farms and ranches? Note: There is no federally required safety training for youth working in agriculture. Estimated injury rate is 38 per day and fatalities, 115 per year
A Human Rights Watch report on children working in US tobacco fields resurrects Obama Administration decisions to abandon a Labor Department regulation to protect youngsters working in agriculture.
Will farm workers be better protected? EPA proposes new pesticide protection standards but farm worker advocates see some steps backward
“For us it’s personal,” said Jeannie Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator. “It’s a daily issue for us. Every day with a weaker protection standard is another day a worker is exposed to pesticides,” she said. On February 20th the EPA proposed revisions to its Worker Protection Standard for agricultural pesticides. Farm worker advocates are welcoming the proposal – the first update since 1992 – but see both improvements and what some are calling "steps backward."
“Putting their workers at risk while profiting from taxpayer dollars” – Senate committee report spotlights federal contractors’ labor violations
“Too often nothing happens,” said John Podesta, Center for American [...]
Now that the Presidential election is over, it's time for the Labor Department to kick into high gear expand workers' rights and ensuring workers' lives and health are protected. Here's my wish list of tasks for the Labor Department to accomplish in the next 6 months:
Congress and White House decided to turn their back, but child labor on U.S. farms hasn’t disappeared
The NBC News affiliate in California's Bay Area released last week a multi-part investigative series entitled "Children in the field: American kids pick your food." Congress and the White House embrace the fiction of family farms, but children working on farms tell a different story.