Thursday, March 19

Read Deuteronomy 22:8

"When you build a new house, you shall make a parapent for your roof; otherwise you might have bloodguilt on your house, if anyone should fall from it." - Deuteronomy 22:8

Reflection: There's a reason why Deuteronomy 22:8 is the first verse that comes up when you do a search for scripture and workplace safety. The demands of the parapet law can be adapted to any workplace setting: employers must provide a safe, healthy and life-preserving environment for all workers.

And in case you're wondering what "bloodguilt" looks like, read THIS.

Earlier this week, McDonald's workers filed 28 health and safety complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state agencies against the corporate office and franchisees in 19 cities.

"My managers kept pushing me to work faster, and while trying to meet their demands I slipped on a wet floor, catching my arm on a hot grill. The managers told me to put mustard on it, but I ended up having to get rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.”

– Brittney Berry, McDonald’s worker, Chicago.

Although McDonald's made this week's headlines, the fast food industry as a whole has been plagued with injuries.

According to a report released by the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health: One-third (33%) of all burn victims say that their manager suggested wholly inappropriate treatments for burns, including condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, butter, or ketchup, instead of burn cream.

Just typing this makes me cringe: condiments on burnt flesh. I can't even begin to imagine the pain Brittney was forced to endure. The laws of God and man are clear on ensuring the safety and well-being of all workers.

This Lent, we fast in solidarity with injured workers and we pray for safer workplaces for all.

By Cathy Junia, Interfaith Worker Justice

Prayer: Merciful God, continue to remind us to stand with those unable to stand and to echo the cries for justice of those injured on the job.

"If we want to reduce poverty, we have to stop doing the things that make people poor and keep them that way. Stop underpaying people for the jobs they do...At least we should decide, as a bare minimum principle, to stop kicking people when they’re down." - Barbara Ehrenreich

TAKE ACTION: An IWJ staff member's son started THIS PETITION in support of workers like Brittney. Join him in asking Ronald to stop hurting workers.

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