EBENSBURG, Pa., Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This week, workers and their unions are asking for action in the General Assembly on House Bill 1082 and Senate Bill 464. More than 577,000 Pennsylvania public workers deserve the same health and safety protections on the job as private sector workers but are excluded from the protections of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
Outside the Cambria County Courthouse, Dominic Mickey Sgro, Director of AFSCME District Council 83 said, "I've had two public employee members killed on the job in the last year. Instead of honoring them with our thoughts and prayers, let's honor them by passing meaningful legislation that ensures no other working family in Pennsylvania needlessly loses a loved one."
President of the Blair-Bedford Central Labor Council Bob Kutz added, "Since OSHA was enacted in 1971, workplace injury, illness, and fatality rates in private sector workplaces have dropped dramatically. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's public workers still lack the same safety and health protections and suffer much higher rates of illness and injury on the job. It's time for the legislature to take action."
Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13 David Fillman sent a message in support of the legislation, "AFSCME represents people performing some of the most dangerous jobs in the commonwealth. In the last few years, we have lost multiple PennDOT workers and a Millersville University groundskeeper in accidents that OSHA protections possibly could have averted. It is well past the time to stop treating public sector workers like second class citizens."
The officers of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder stated, "Nearly every safety and health protection law on the books today, is there because working men and women joined together in unions and fought and demanded action from employers and government. Still, that progress has been painfully slow. Which is why we assemble across the Commonwealth to show our commitment to protecting workers on the job will not be complete until every worker can go to work and return home safe and healthy at the end of the day. We wholeheartedly support HB 1082 and SB 464 to extend workplace safety and health protections to our public sector brothers and sisters, because who your employer is should not impact your right to a safe workplace."