Apr 5, 2011

UFCW Local 227 President Gary Best: Safety conditions need to be part of collective bargaining

Yesterday, the Courier-Journal, based in Louisville, KY, published a letter on worker safety and collective bargaining by UFCW Local 227 President Gary Best. The letter reflects on the importance of being able to bargain collectively not just over wages and benefits but also over safety and working conditions and is particularly timely in light of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who died defending collective bargaining), and the recent wave of attacks nationwide on worker rights and the middle class. It also speaks to recent safety scares at a JBS meatpacking plant and at Graphite Industries, both in the Louisville area:
"Politicians in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and other states are ignoring the importance of non-economic items negotiated by workers, such as workplace conditions and safety. Last week, accidents at Graphite Industries and JBS shocked our community into the realization that members of our family, friends and neighbors may not return home from work on any given day."
Take a minute to read the full letter here.

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