Thursday, September 24, 2020

AFL-CIO Warns Trump Could Put Even More Latino Workers at Risk

On Wednesday, AFL-CIO released its annual job deaths report, showing an increase in Latino and immigrant workers’ deaths in 2015, while work deaths among all other groups has remained the same. As Republicans in the Senate get ready to vote on President Trump’s labor pick, AFL-CIO has issued warnings that progress in worker safety and health is at risk under the new administration.

“For those workers there had always been great fear about raising safety and health concerns and any concerns in the workplace, and I think this situation is going to get worse,” said Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO director of safety and health. “That will mean more immigrant workers who are facing risks on the job and higher rates of injury.”

If confirmed, Trump’s labor secretary pick, Alex Acosta, will be the sole Hispanic in President Trump’s Cabinet. The fatality rate of Latino workers increased to 903 in 2015, up from 804 the year before, with two-thirds of the workers who died being immigrants.

“With the election of President Trump and with Republicans in the majority in Congress there is a strong push for deregulation and rollbacks of protections and the future of safety and health for working people in this country is uncertain and indeed may be in danger,” Peg Seminario said.

Acosta has not provided any reassurances on policy affecting worker health, and during his confirmation hearing he declined to offer any commitment to implementing new regulations to protect workers’ exposure to silica. Additionally, Trump has issued an executive order known as the “one-in, two-out” plan, and requires agencies requesting new regulations to cut two existing regulations.

NBC News