Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two Book Endorsements

While at the APHA Conference and H&S Summit was introduced to two books.

In The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor: The Life and Times of Tony Mazzocchi, author and labor expert Les Leopold recounts the life of the late Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union leader. Mazzocchi's struggle to address the unconscionable toxic exposure of tens of thousands of workers led to the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and included work alongside nuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood. His noble, high-profile efforts forever changed working conditions in American industry—and made him enemy number one to a powerful few.

As early as the 1950s, when the term “environment” was nowhere on the political radar, Mazzocchi learned about nuclear fallout and began integrating environmental concerns into his critique of capitalism and his union work. An early believer in global warming, he believed that the struggle of capital against nature was the irreconcilable contradiction that would force systemic change.

This profound biography should be required reading for those who believe in taking risks and making the world a better place. While Mazzocchi’s story is so full of peril and deception that it seems almost a work of fiction, Leopold proves that the most provocative and lasting stories in life are those of real people.

I can't comment too much on Leopold's book simply because it's not finished, sorry just haven't had time yet. However I would like to state that Les Leopold picked a wonderful man to document. This book is relevant to every walk of life weather you are an environmentalist, unionist, health & safety activist or just plain want the world to be a better place.

"Up until now I was reluctant to toot my own horn (simply because I believe it's not what you get but what you give that makes a person who they are) but I was honored to be presented with the Tony Mazzocchi Award and even more so after reading about him. Tony seemed passonate about changing the word and skipped from one realm to another raising hell. He had an attitude that wouldn't quit but if you were on his side of the fence; you had the Mazzocchi Armor. Tony Mazzocchi worthy or more than the few words I can offer. I just wish I could have met him but thanks to Les Leopold for his writings, Roger Cook for the book, Peter Dooley and Jordan Barab for the nomination I feel like I know him or at the very least know his spirit that lives on. What a great bunch of guys and I'm sure Tony was proud to have know them and have them on his side."

P.S. Thank you very much for signing my book I didn't get to thank you proper. Your book is an inspiration and grant us hope in our efforts.


Dr Parker explains, "Health problems are compounded for children because they are more susceptible than adults to the types of illnesses and injuries associated with occupational hazards. For example, children develop dust-related lung diseases, from arduous work in brick factories and stone quarries, more rapidly that do adults. Child carpet weavers suffer from the development of degenerative joint disease by the age of twelve; other children contract unknown illnesses from working inside chemical-filled leather tanning drums." He also explained that many of the protections that adults have the children may not simply because equipment was not developed with them in mind.

"I didn't have much time with any one person but I spoke to Dr. David Parker for a few moments and I found that he helped develop Work Safe Work Smart (which I would love see implemented in the schools and even developed two flyer's to promote school and church) and authored Stolen Dreams which unfortunately I was unable to view the slides in it's entirety. I would have loved to view the book but the photos alone convey the exploitation of children in the work place. and you can view many on site. It would make a wonderful coffee table book and only good would come out of it's discussions "
Dr. David Parker's personal challenge is to present photographs that raise questions such as:
  • Under what circumstances and conditions should children work?
  • What is the nature of work conducted by children in different parts of the world?
  • How do we draw the boundaries between what we do and do not allow children to do?
  • What role should the nations of the world play in controlling child labor?
  • What alternatives to work do children have and how are these alternatives decided from nation to nation?

Don't forget the holiday's are around the corner!

1 comment:

Khadijah Britton said...

Congratulations, Tammy, and thank you for that beautiful post. Wish I could have been there to see you receive your award. Sending you love and support from Boston.

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