L&I proposes permanent rules to protect workers from heatThe following is from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I):
TUMWATER (March 27, 2023) — A new proposal last week to update Washington’s permanent heat rules would increase protections for agricultural, construction, and other workers exposed to dangerous outdoor temperatures on the job. L&I filed the proposed update to the permanent heat rule on Tuesday, officially kicking off the formal process for public input.
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Washington’s existing rules already require employers to have an outdoor heat exposure safety program with training, make sure each worker has ready access to at least one quart of suitable drinking water per hour, and provide an appropriate response to workers who are experiencing heat-related illness symptoms. The proposed changes address the need for more preventative measures in the rules. Preventing workers from overheating reduces the risk of heat-related illness and also traumatic injuries like falling from ladders.
Some of the updates to the proposed rule include:
Protecting outdoor workers from high temperatures
Current permanent heat rules were put in place by L&I in 2008. Acknowledging the need for more preventative measures in high heat, temporary emergency heat rules were in place over the past two years while the permanent rule was being updated. The current permanent rule is in effect annually from May through the end of September. The proposed permanent rule would be in effect year-round.
Public input opportunities
Before the anticipated adoption in June, L&I will conduct five in-person public hearings in communities around the state and one virtual public hearing to take comments. Details on how to attend the hearings or submit comments by mail, fax, or email, can be found on L&I’s rulemaking activity page. Public comments will be accepted through May 11.
L&I will review and consider comments submitted before making any needed adjustments and adopting the permanent rule.
To help employers comply with these and other rules, L&I provides a host of free resources. Visit L&I’s Heat Smart web page to get more information on the current Outdoor Heat Exposure rules and the proposed rule updates.
Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=115428
WSLC’s Sims: Howard Schultz is ‘an embarrassment’ to WA
SEATTLE (March 29, 2023) — April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, released the following statement regarding former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s testimony today before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee:
Howard Schultz says that leading Starbucks has been his “life’s work.” But his legacy is permanently stained by his decision to break labor laws and deny his employees their basic legal rights. It’s not up to Howard Schultz, Laxman Narasimhan, or any other CEO to decide whether employees can join together in a union. It’s up to the workers. That’s the law, and Howard Schultz and Starbucks are not above it.
In the past 16 months, thousands of Starbucks workers at hundreds of stores have chosen to form unions to improve their wages and working conditions. And more are doing so every day. Schultz and Starbucks have retaliated against organizing workers with illegal scorched-earth tactics: firing them for trumped-up reasons, denying them raises, cutting their hours, closing their stores, withholding credit card tipping, and refusing to negotiate a first contract. Court decisions have confirmed that Starbucks continues to commit these “egregious and widespread” labor law violations. And yet, in the face of all this, brave Starbucks workers are still standing up for their rights and demanding a union contract.
While Starbucks is a multi-national corporation, it often celebrates its roots in Washington. Our state is one of the most unionized states in the country. We are proud of our progressive pro-worker values and our history of defying corporate control of the working class. Starbucks may call Seattle home, but Howard Schultz is an embarrassment to Washington state.
The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is the state’s largest union organization, representing some 600 unions with 450,000 rank-and-file members. Learn more at www.wslc.org.
Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=115539
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