Thursday, March 18, 2004

Mexican Government Not Happy About Workplace Death Toll

The government of Mexico has expressed concern over the findings of the Associated Press investigation on the workplace death toll of Mexican workers in the U.S. The AP found that Mexicans are more likely than U.S.-born workers to be killed even when doing some of the same high-risk work. (I wrote about this article earlier this week.)
"The findings of the report are very specific, are very worrying to us," said Miguel Monterrubio, spokesman for the Mexican embassy in Washington.

Mexican consular officials in California said the United States has good worker protections on paper, but suggested those laws are too often neglected.
In short, the investigation found that
Since the mid-1990s, Mexican deaths have increased faster than a growing population that is now spread across the United States.

The Mexican death rate has reached 1 in 16,000 workers even as the death rate steadily decreased for the average U.S.-born worker to about 1 in 28,000 workers, the investigation found. Mexicans now represent about 1 in 24 workers in the United States, but about 1 in 14 workplace deaths.
The response to these findings from the Bush administration has been less than overwhelming.
The Bush administration did not directly address the findings of the stories.

Instead, the Labor Department released a statement that lauded its outreach to Hispanic workers and expressed concern over "the unique challenges" Mexican workers face in the United States.

Hispanics are a coveted constituency in this year's presidential election.