CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER

Nader Says Obama Is Blocking OSHA Safety Rules
26 Corporate Crime Reporter 14, March 29, 2012

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader says that President Obama is blocking life-saving worker safety rules.

In a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Nader says that David Michaels, the head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “cannot get White House approval for issuing long-overdue standards or strengthening weak and outdated standards such as the woefully inadequate silica rule, to save American lives not threatened by terrorists, but by corporate negligence or worse.”

“Why have you not exposed this reality in public?” Nader asks Trumka in the letter. “Has Mr. Obama, whom you have socialized with at White House viewings of the Super Bowl, ever invited you to come across Lafayette Square to discuss this serious ongoing, preventable tragedy?”

“Had he taken worker concerns seriously, he might have asked you why the AFL-CIO for many years, has retained at its large national headquarters so few full-time advocates on occupational health and safety? And you in turn might have asked him why his politicos are blocking Dr. Michaels and why he is content in having only $550 million for OSHA’s annual budget while the U.S. spent $675 million in 2011 paying corporate contractors to guard the overbuilt U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Are these the

Obama ‘values’ you extolled in your endorsement statement?”

“More dismaying is your touting Mr. Obama for aggressively protecting workers’ pay. By pushing for more NAFTA type “pull-down” trade agreements through Congress, and not moving to revise NAFTA as he promised in his 2008 presidential campaigns, he is undermining both workers’ pay and jobs. By totally abandoning his pledge made to over 30 million workers in 2008 that he would press for a $9.50/hour federal minimum wage by 2011, he left them defenseless with more debt and fewer necessities of life.”

“The AFL-CIO wants at the least to catch up to 1968 with an inflation-adjusted $10/hour minimum wage law. Where is the visible muscular campaign for such legislation? Keeping up with inflation for the federal minimum wage is historically supported by 70 percent of the people. That includes many Republicans and even Rick Santorum and, until his latest flip-flop, Mitt Romney. A $10 minimum wage, after years of windfall price increases and executive compensation windfalls at labor’s expense, would annually pump tens of billions of dollars into greater consumer demand by low-income families in this recessionary economy.”

“What is the AFL-CIO waiting for?” Nader asks. “Hundreds of non-profit organizations will follow your lead. Talk is not enough. Resources and muscular lobbying are required along with far more relevant and tough public advertisements than your members are seeing and paying for on TV these days. Enough, already, of the general feel-good mood spots on TV.”

 


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