BOSTON - Nancy Woods, 46, of Rutland was one of five workers in Central Massachusetts to die on the job in 2014. Ms. Woods’ death made the news for several days; she was helping the sole passenger out of the back of her Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus when it began to move. Ms. Woods ran to the front of the vehicle to attempt to stop it, but instead was struck and killed by the bus.
Ms. Woods, the bus driver, is one of 50 workers statewide to die on the job in 2014, one of 17 workers killed in transportation accidents and one of seven women. The count includes 10 firefighters who died as a result of work-related illnesses, according to the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health 2014 report.
MassCOSH annually produces an analysis of workplace fatalities, observing trends and advocating for safer workplaces.
Marchers in Milwaukee marked May Day by delivering a distress call — strong and loud — in the voices of thousands raised outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse.
The May Day rally and march, coordinated annually by the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera, took place on May 1, beginning at the nonprofit’s headquarters on South Fifth Street. From there, marchers went to the courthouse...
They demanded fair and equal pay and the right to organize on what has long been celebrated as a worker’s memorial day.
And, with the march taking place just days after rioting in Baltimore following the death a black man in police custody, they demanded an end to police violence and action to address the lack of opportunity in the nation’s poorest neighborhoods.
They marched in solidarity, shouldering banners and sharing causes.
For more than a decade, undocumented Hispanic workers have been indispensable on dairy farms across Upstate New York. The immigrants live largely invisible lives and rarely stray off the farm to avoid detection by federal agents. They are also less likely to report abuses.
For the first time in the North Country, farm workers and their advocates stepped out of the shadows and held a public protest. Recently, they marched to the gates of the region’s largest dairy farm, Marks Farms, near Lowville, N.Y., to call attention to what they called widespread wage theft, harassment, and other forms of abuse...
The Worker Justice Center of New York and the Workers' Center of Central New York targeted Marks Farms for this march because of an incident under investigation by state police. A farm manager, Michael Tabolt, allegedly beat a worker named Francisco and threw him to the ground several times after Francisco was reluctant to work on his day off. Advocates said there were witnesses, but they were scared to testify. Francisco was fired.
A new law that provides safety and health protections to Massachusetts executive branch employees went into effect on March 24. The law, which requires that safety measures be at least as protective as those found under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, seeks to stem the high human and financial toll of workplace injury, illness and death...
MassCOSH is offering health and safety introductory sessions to state employees through their unions and is holding quarterly executive branch conference calls to educate workers about how to ensure their right to safe, healthy working conditions. MassCOSH is also working with public employee unions and its members to ensure that the enforcement agency, DLS, has the resources needed to do its job. Governor Charlie Baker included $500,000 in funding for DLS, and MassCOSH is encouraging its members to call their legislators to ensure that this funding included in the House and Senate budgets as well.
DAVENPORT, Iowa (November 24, 2014) – The Dick Fallow Endowment for Social Justice has announced that its first year grant award will go to the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa. The grant will be used to expand CWJ’s Jobs with Dignity Campaign to the Quad City Area.
CWJ’s Jobs with Dignity Campaign will build on existing relationships with labor and community leaders in the Quad Cities Area to offer education and organizing support for low-wage, immigrant, and young workers.
Los Angeles has joined the roster of major cities calling on the US government to grant Filipino immigrants protection from deportation in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The LA City Council voted Tuesday night for a resolution that urges the Department of Homeland Security to designate the Philippines for Temporary Protected Status, which allows immigrants to live and work in the US for a finite period of time.
An estimated 280,000 Filipinos in the U.S. who don't have legal status stand to benefit from TPS. Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell authored the resolution, at the encouragement of the Pilipino Workers Center which is based in his district.
Aquilina Soriano Versoza, executive director of the Pilipino Workers Center, said it would be "devastating" to deport these Filipino nationals since many are working and sending remittances home. "Not only does it add one more person to the millions that need to be resettled but it also is going to end a string of income that is supporting families there," Soriano Versoza said.
In a well-orchestrated surprise attack, mental-health advocates quietly stormed the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors’ chambers this Tuesday, and in the words of one critic, “hijacked” the meeting to demand a range of treatment options for the mentally ill rather than just putting them behind bars. For more than an hour, more than a dozen people — including at least one mentally ill person, several mothers of mentally ill children, and many religious leaders — focused on an issue that wasn’t even on the board agenda.
The group, which was led by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and Families ACT, did so by taking advantage of the time at the beginning of public meetings that state law reserves as an open forum on any issue. Frequently, this time is monopolized by political eccentrics and crackpots, but activists of various stripes have recently been seizing it for their own agenda.
In this case, it was to hammer home the conclusion of a recent CLUE report showing that at any given time, 250 inmates at the County Jail are locked up for nonviolent offenses tied to mental illness rather than criminal intent.
At 8:00 am on Tuesday, dozens of people gathered outside of a McDonald’s restaurant on Chicago’s Northwest side to protest what they say is the company’s widespread practice of stealing wages from workers. “We have one of the richest corporations in the country [in] one of the richest industries—a $200 billion industry—stealing from low-wage workers who are literally in poverty,” says Deivid Rojas of Fight for 15, who organized the event.
In Chicago, employees, supporters and would-be customers listened to a speech from Rev. C.J. Hawking, executive director of the community resource group Arise Chicago, who decried McDonald’s treatment of employees.
Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa and others are proposing a community ID program for Iowa City and Johnson County. It’s the first Midwest location to seriously discuss implementation. The aim is to help a substantial number of people who cannot access basic services without an ID, one that would be recognized by local law enforcement, public agencies and businesses.
A primary target group is immigrants, including undocumented people who are working locally but face difficulties in conducting everyday business and often are hesitant to contact legal authorities about possible criminal actions they have endured. Others it could assist include seniors who no longer can drive and don’t have a driver’s license and victims of natural disasters and domestic abuse.
About 150 students with Youth Empowered in the Struggle, the youth arm of Voces de la Frontera, will gather at the Capitol in Madison today (March 18) to lobby lawmakers. They'll be urging passage of a bill to allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition.
The legislation, introduced by state Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, would allow in-state tuition for undocumented students under three conditions:
• Graduation from high school or received a declaration of equivalency in Wisconsin
• Residing in the state for at least three years after attending their first day of high school.
• Signing an affidavit saying they have filed or will file for permanent residency in the United States as soon as they are eligible to do so.