DOL in Action


Editor's Note: This post provides the highlights of the department's activities in recent days. To view previous posts in the this series, click here. To get back to the newsletter, click here

Building Jobs

"Our job is to create access -- and expand access -- to opportunity." —@LaborSec during @NALEO conference Secretary Perez delivers remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference.

America succeeds when everyone succeeds: U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez took his message of shared prosperity to Las Vegas on June 18 during a keynote address to the 32nd Annual Conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He highlighted the important work the department is doing to ensure that all Americans have equal access to employment opportunities, and fair and safe working conditions, principles which help open the doors to the middle class and economic success. “Our job is to create – and expand – access to opportunity,” Perez said.

Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Lucia Bruce (back, right) joins members of the Moore Community House Women in Construction program at a worksite in Biloxi, Miss. Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Lucia Bruce (back, right) joins members of the Moore Community House Women in Construction program at a worksite in Biloxi, Miss.

Construction industry opens doors for women on Gulf coast: Women in non-traditional jobs often face a host of challenges. To that end, representatives from the Women’s Bureau, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission participated in a roundtable discussion with the Moore Community House’s Women in Construction program on June 12 in Biloxi, Miss. WIC was established after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to help low-income women enter the construction trades. So far, 150 women have graduated from the program with a successful job placement rate of 70 percent. “They have found a way to create a career gateway program for women who have been impoverished from a disaster to become employment-ready with one of the largest employers on the Gulf coast,” said Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Lucia Bruce.

International Scene

U.S. Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe Cynthia H. Akuetteh (left) presents the 2015 Iqbal Masih Award to prosecutor Alain-Georges Moukoko in Libreville, Gabon, June 12, 2015. U.S. Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe Cynthia H. Akuetteh (left) presents the 2015 Iqbal Masih Award to prosecutor Alain-Georges Moukoko in Libreville, Gabon, June 12, 2015.

The fight against child labor: Since 2002, people around the globe have observed June 12 as World Day Against Child Labor to raise awareness of the 168 million children who spend their days working instead of learning. This year’s theme, “No to child labor; yes to quality education,” underscores the importance of providing quality education so that youth can secure promising opportunities for decent work. With more than 290 technical assistance projects in more than 90 countries, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs strives to help set more young people on the path to opportunity, bringing better education to the world’s most vulnerable children and a chance at a better life for their families. To mark the occasion, ILAB also announced the winner of its annual Iqbal Masih award for exceptional efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor. Alain-Georges Moukoko of Gabon is a prosecutor who has rescued children from servitude and helped dismantle several forced labor and trafficking rings. He has been instrumental in holding perpetrators accountable for child labor exploitation.

Protecting Wages and Benefits

    Deputy Secretary Chris Lu (center) joined Colorado State Reps. Joe Salazar and Faith Winter in Denver for the latest stop in the "Lead on Leave" tour. Deputy Secretary Chris Lu (center) joined Colorado State Reps. Joe Salazar and Faith Winter in Denver for the latest stop in the "Lead on Leave" tour.

Mile High City leads on leave: Denver served as the latest stop for the “Lead on Leave” tour for Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu. On June 17, Lu participated in a roundtable discussion, along with Colorado state representatives Joe Salazar and Faith Winter, who are sponsoring paid family leave legislation. Marie Davis, national recruiting manager for the fast-food chain Chipotle, noted that her company recently announced that it would provide sick leave, vacation time and tuition reimbursement to the company's hourly employees. Participants in the roundtable discussed paid leave and other flexible workplace policies that will help to support working families in Colorado.

The modern workplace and its challenges: The Labor Research and Action Network welcomed Wage and Hour Division Administrator Dr. David Weil to address its annual conference this year. Speaking on June 15 at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Weil outlined his agency’s work to analyze and respond strategically to emerging business models in the 21st century workplace that blur the once-distinct relationship between employer and employees. He challenged researchers and practitioners to focus on the changes in the modern workplace and do work that explores and builds upon the strategic approach being taken by Wage and Hour. LRAN is composed of workers' rights organizations, academics and students working together to assure workers have a voice in the workplace and are economically empowered.

Cal/OSHA’s senior safety engineer Vicky Albano shakes hands with WHD’s regional administrator Ruben Rosalez, during the garment industry inter-agency joint task force meeting in Los Angeles. Cal/OSHA’s senior safety engineer Vicky Albano shakes hands with WHD’s regional administrator Ruben Rosalez, during the garment industry inter-agency joint task force meeting in Los Angeles.

United against sweatshops in Los Angeles: Wage and Hour Division staff met with local, state and federal partners at the division’s district office in Los Angeles on June 8 to strengthen the united fight against labor violations at all levels of L.A.’s garment industry. Agenda topics included updates on joint trainings, case referrals and future joint enforcement at the contractor, manufacturer and retailer levels. “Retailers, manufacturers and contractors must do more to end the sweatshop-like working conditions that we have seen in this industry in Los Angeles and Southern California. Our united, comprehensive fight against this underground economy, along with an increasingly conscientious consumer, continues to be pivotal forces against this labor and societal malady,” said Ruben Rosalez, the division’s regional administrator.

Claims’ assistance for former nuclear industry workers: More than 250 current and former nuclear industry workers and their survivors gathered at town hall meetings and traveling resource centers in Grand Junction, Colo., and Moab, Utah, on June 10 and 11 and in Bridgeton, Mo., on June 16 and 17. Office of Workers' Compensation Programs hosted the event, where representatives shared information about the medical benefits provided under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. They also helped file claims for eligible Department of Energy nuclear weapons workers and their families.

Improving Safety and Health

Mine emergency response is key topic at safety conference: Safety and health experts from around the U.S. representing all sectors of mining gathered in Virginia Beach, Va., June 9-11 for the first joint meeting of the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association and the Holmes Mine Rescue Association. Workshop presentations included an update on mine emergency response, risk and readiness assessments, virtual reality in mine rescue, and preventing post-traumatic stress among emergency rescuers. More than 175 people attended the three-day conference.

Dr. Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, discusses recent agency actions at the NACOSH meeting. Dr. Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, discusses recent agency actions at the NACOSH meeting.

Advisory committee meets: At a June 18 gathering of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health in Washington, D.C., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels discussed recent agency actions, the financial costs of workplace injuries, and the challenges faced by all employees. “The work that you are doing to help us improve our guidance to employers on protecting temporary and contract workers is invaluable,” Dr. Michaels said. NACOSH represents the interests of the public, employers, employees and states. It also advises, consults with and makes recommendations to the secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services on matters relating to the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

OSHA safety inspector Clarence Moore discusses the dangers of working in high heat. OSHA safety inspector Clarence Moore discusses the dangers of working in high heat.

Postal employees take a stand-down: More than 100 employees at the U.S. Postal Service’s Brentwood Station in Raleigh, N.C., recently participated in a safety stand down as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Heat Illness Prevention Program. An OSHA inspector discussed the dangers of working in extreme heat and factors that contribute to heat illnesses. Highlighting the training was a demonstration and explanation of the agency’s improved Heat Safety Tool mobile app.

 

 

In Other News

New election for Letter Carriers union: The National Association of Letter Carriers has agreed to hold a new mail ballot election in October for the director of retired members, a new officer position. The election will be supervised by the Office of Labor-Management Standards, which investigated the union’s October 2014 election and found that an eligible candidate was improperly disqualified when he attempted to accept a nomination by signing a form with an electronic signature. The union represents more than 275,000 active letter carriers and retired members.

Florida union to elect president: Communications Workers of America Local 3122, based in Miami and representing more than 1,700 members, agreed to conduct a new election for president. An OLMS investigation found that the union failed to conduct its November 2014 officer election by secret ballot. Also, it did not provide adequate safeguards to ensure a fair election when candidates were allowed to serve on the election committee. OLMS will supervise the new vote, which will be completed by Aug. 31.


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Comments

Similar to Stan Scott's comment above, I also would like to know where I can find the information that used to be included in the newsletter summarizing enforcement actions taken by OSHA & WHD.
Thanks

I teach an Industrial Safety class at a community college and I like to review the DOL In Action stories with my students at the beginning of class. The stories of OSHA inspections & results no longer seem to be available in the new newsletter. Where can I find them now?
Regards,
Stan Scott
Industrial Technology Instructor
North Central Missouri College
Trenton, MO

I also like to read the DOL in Action OSHA reports.
Thank you

Having worked in the USPS of New Orleans, Louisiana as a causal worker operating the then new OCR, I can tell you there were times when union workers and supervisors did not want the causal worker to perform their jobs so well as we did with enthusiasm.

I can see where the government has over spent money on the unnecessary equipment that is used in the postal system. Something the postal administration should know is unnecessary. There seems to be an inexcusable incompetency in the postal administration. Although, the OCR was a great invention for postal progress and efficiency!

Where cant the previously listed OSHA citations be found? This was a valuable tool.

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