The issue that dares not speak its name
- By David Hawpe, Louisville Courier-Journal, KY
Worker advocates will tell you that Elaine Chao has been the worst Labor secretary in history and that the Bush administration has been relentlessly hostile to worker welfare. The Bushies abandoned years worth of work intended to produce new, stronger ergonomic regulation. The President and his allies, as a Las Vegas Sun editorial summarized it last week, in their anti-government crusade 'slashed (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration's) budget, stalled regulation and minimized workplace tragedies to protect business interests.'
The Sun has a special interest because it has reported, in depth, on a rash of 12 construction deaths in 19 months on the Strip, and has concluded that the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 is feckless, and not enforced.
Especially galling, to me, are the continuing deaths and injuries in trench collapse incidents -- an easily preventable kind of workplace tragedy.