Monday, June 14, 2004

OSHA Hosts Hispanic Worker Safety and Health Conference

OSHA has announced that it will hold a Hispanic Safety & Health Summit sponsored by OSHA and a broad range of Hispanic organizations including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Alliance for Progress and the uh, umm, that's all....

The Alliance for what? Hispanic Alliance for Progress? Couldn't find much on the web about this group except for two press releases -- one supporting the Bush administration's immigration reform proposal, and the other supporting the administration's new overtime regulations that will take overtime away from thousands of workers. It's headed up by former New Mexico Republican Congressman and Bush I Interior Secretary Manny Lujan.

The conference will be held on July 22, in Orlando, Florida. Hmm, Florida.... Rings a bell somewhere. Wasn't there some kind of controversy in Florida during the last election?

And unions? They don't need no stinkin' unions.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health? Well, according to an anonymous NIOSH insider,
NIOSH tried for months to convince OSHA to hold an open meeting which had speakers representing all of the important interest groups and to make the tone be open and asking for outside input. In the end we got nowhere. OSHA decided to make this a DOL summit and we are no longer a cosponsor nor do we have any meaningful input into the agenda.
There had apparently been some discussion about some labor participation in some panels, but no one seems to know what's happening.

So far, the only named speakers are Assistant Secretary for OSHA, John Henshaw and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, herself an immigrant who has made good.

By the way, if anyone reading this will be attending and would like to be the designated Confined Space correspondent, please contact me. I promise to pay you the same amount I make.

More on immigrant workplace safety issues here.