Friday, September 18, 2015

States with strong unions are states with safer workers

Keep Oregon Working
September 18th, 2015


In states with strong unions, the standard of living for all workers, not just union members, is raised. And those improved standards aren’t just limited to wages and benefits: States with strong unions also have safer workplaces.
Working in dangerous places can lead to injury, illness and even death. This is especially true when corporate profits are put above workers’ wellbeing. To foster safe workplaces, unions invest significant resources in safety trainings and encourage workers to negotiate for appropriate staffing levels and equipment.
Highly trained workers are not only safe from the potential dangers that their jobs might bring, but they’re also attractive to business owners. The New York Times points out that rather than take advantage of cheap labor costs, contractors see the benefits of employing trained and certified workers.
“It’s a business bottom-­line issue… (anti-worker laws) compromise my quality, my competitiveness. The unions are my partner. They’re almost like a screening agency.”
– Bill Kennedy, president of Rock Road Companies, WI
Most importantly, when workers can successfully advocate for safer working conditions, fewer people die on the job. Research has shown that workplace fatalities are significantly lower in states where more workers are unionized.

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