WIN Week In Review November 30 – Dec. 2, 2007
By Doug Cunningham
United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard says a USW safety survey shows serious hazards – like those that killed 15 BP workers in Texas City in 2005 – are pervasive at U.S. refineries. And he says the oil industry’s response so far is inadequate.
[Gerard]: “It’s a wake-up call to the industry and as the United Steel Workers we’re prepared to work hand in hand with them to improve the safety conditions and the standards in every refinery, whether it’s represented by us or not.”
The night before the USW released its safety survey a fire at an oil pipeline in Minnesota killed two USW workers. Gerard says in addition to companies improving their process safety standards, the government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration needs to step up enforcement.
Globalization, immigration and trade policies are intertwined—and you can’t solve one without addressing the other two, says Gabriela Lemus, executive director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), one of six AFL-CIO constituency groups.
Lemus says the global economy is not working because “there is a huge disconnect between the multinational corporations and consumers, and it is threatening our democracy.
“Corporations are no longer loyal to one market, and as a result they have no sense of national identity. They are actually becoming so big they are competing with nation states. They don’t respect boundaries, but they expect us to.”