Wednesday, April 09, 2008

House Labor Committee Approves Bill to Help Prevent Dust

House Labor Committee Approves Bill to Help Prevent Dust Explosions after Georgia Disaster Claims 13 Lives

Well we made it over the first hurdle, only three more to go the House vote, Senate Vote and the President to get past. It can be done and thanks for all the prayers and hard work you all have given. I know it is a long process but that's how it's done.

Take a look at a few comments from the press release and by the way if your in the CA area Charmian Miller will be speaking at one of the workers memorial day events. Stop in and introduce yourself.

“We owe it to the families of the workers who have needlessly lost their lives to pass this legislation,” said Miller, chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. “It’s unfortunate that OSHA didn’t heed warnings from 2006 about the dangers of combustible dusts, but it’s downright stunning that OSHA still has no sense of urgency in dealing with these deadly hazards, even after the Imperial Sugar tragedy. Unlike OSHA, this Congress is not complacent about the safety of American workers.”

“The combustible dust explosion at the Imperial Sugar Company last February in Port Wentworth, Georgia was a senseless tragedy. Unfortunately, this explosion, like so many other recent incidents, could have been prevented,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), chair of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. “That is why immediately after the explosion, Chairman Miller and I sent a letter to OSHA demanding that the agency begin work on a standard for combustible dust. Our goal is to make a permanent change that will protect workers from preventable hazards like the combustible dust explosion at Imperial Sugar.”

“This is an important step toward getting this bill signed into law. I applaud Chairman Miller for making this a priority for the Education and Labor Committee, and I hope that we’ll see it on the House floor real soon,” said Barrow. “We owe it to the victims of the Imperial Sugar tragedy – and to all the other victims before that – to do what we can to prevent that sort of thing from ever happening again.”

Also take a look at the letters sent to Chairman George Miller and Ranking Member Buck McKeon in opposition to this bill sent by United States Chamber of Commerce and OSHA Fairness Coaltion Letters Sent:

I had a few words about the US Chamber of Commerce and their policies
A Workers Agenda By The US Chamber of Commerce
But what are they opposing:

  • Opposing paid leave or sick time,
  • Workplace safety measures,
  • Expansion of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Longer lead time for plant closing warnings and stiffen fines for non-compliance
  • Limit the definition of "supervisor,"
  • OSHA reform, with
  • Increase fines
  • Increased regulations
  • Revive the previous administration's ergonomics standard (Got You there)
  • Eliminating the statute of limitations for filing claims of discrimination,
  • Remove caps on damages
  • Eliminating binding arbitration in employment law
Donohue calls this and others a "straightjacket approach to labor regulations."

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