150 Workers Die Every Day

By AFL-CIO

Today the AFL-CIO released our 27th annual Death on the Job report, highlighting a startling rise in workplace deaths in 2016. The report comes as the Trump administration continues to enact an aggressive deregulatory agenda, gutting safety rules and proposing deep cuts to worker safety and health training.

On a press call announcing the report, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters, “We’re facing a national crisis. And it’s time that folks in this town start acting like it.”

He pointed to some of the report’s most alarming findings:

    • 150 workers died each day from preventable, hazardous workplace conditions. Overall, the national job fatality rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 workers from 3.4 in 2015.
    • 5,190 American workers died from on-the-job injuries in 2016, an increase from 4,836 deaths the previous year. Another estimated 50,000 to 60,000 died from occupational diseases.
    • Workplace violence is now the second-leading cause of workplace death, accounting for 866 workplace deaths, including 500 homicides.
    • Latino and immigrant workers continue to account for a disproportionate number of deaths on the job.
    • Workers in Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota suffered from the highest fatality rates.

Observe Workers Memorial Day This Saturday

Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

The Big Drip

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

A rash of water main breaks in West Berkeley, Calif., and neighboring cities last month flooded streets and left at least 300 residents without water. Routine pressure adjustments in response to water demand likely caused more than a dozen pipes, some made of clay and more than 100 years old, to rupture.

West Berkeley’s brittle mains are not unique. Decades of neglect left aging pipes susceptible to breaks in communities across the U.S., wasting two trillion gallons of treated water each year as these systems near collapse.

Comprehensive upgrades to the nation’s crumbling water systems would stanch the flow and ensure all Americans have reliable access to clean water.

Nationwide, water main breaks increased 27 percent between 2012 and 2018, according to a Utah State University study.  

These breaks not only lead to service disruptions  but also flood out roads, topple trees and cause illness when drinking water becomes contaminated with bacteria.

The American Water Works Association estimated it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years to upgrade and expand water infrastructure.

Some local water utilities raised their rates to pay for system improvements, but that just hurts poor consumers who can’t pay the higher bills.

And while Congress allocates money for loans that utilities can use to fix portions of their deteriorating systems, that’s merely a drop in the bucket—a fraction of what agencies need for lasting improvements.

America can no longer afford a piecemeal approach to a systemic nationwide crisis. A major, sustained federal commitment to fixing aging pipes and treatment plants would create millions of construction-related jobs while ensuring all Americans have safe, affordable drinking water.

More ...

There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work