The AFL-CIO, of which the SIU is an affiliate, issued the following news release on March 17.
AFL-CIO Urges Administration to Finalize Long-Overdue Worker Protections
Silica, Overtime, Persuader and Fiduciary Rules Will Strengthen Protections for Working Families
Following the U.S. Department of Labor sending the much needed overtime rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the AFL-CIO renewed its call for final action on these worker protections to improve the lives of working people across the country. These regulations include rules on fiduciary responsibility, silica and the persuader rule.
“President Obama recognizes that the current rules are out of date and too weak to protect working men and women, so we are pleased that these improvements are moving forward,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “These worker protections have been decades in the making. It’s time to push these rules over the finish line so these important protections are finally cemented into place.”
The extension of overtime protections will get America’s working people one step closer to receiving their rightfully earned overtime pay. The current provisions are outdated and exclude protections for too many working people. The overtime threshold would be increased, extending protections to millions of people and providing a boost to the economy.
The new OSHA regulation on silica dust, a fine particle that is at least 100 times smaller than ordinary sand and that causes silicosis, would save 700 lives each year and prevent 1,700 new cases of silicosis—a deadly condition that affects the lungs. Exposure to silica dust can occur when working with stone, concrete, brick, industrial sand and mortar.
The new persuader rule closes the loophole that allows employers and management consultants to avoid public disclosure when employers hire outside union-busters during an organizing drive. These firms hide behind a loophole to avoid disclosure even when they are creating anti-union propaganda such as fliers and videos.
“We commend the Administration for moving the overtime protections bill to OMB and urge the Administration to finish its work on these critical worker protections,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
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