What Is It Going To Take?
As I write this, one of our union brothers from Local 974 lies in a hospital bed. He’s been there for the last twelve days and will be there for many more days, the victim of a workplace “accident”. He had company last week when another brother from a different plant spent the night in the same hospital after cheating death in another “accident”. In both cases, actions which would have prevented these “accidents” were quickly taken after the fact, even though they were known before the fact.
April 28th is
Workers Memorial Day and hopefully there will be no members of this local added
to the roster of the fallen read each year at the
What is it going to take to
make our benevolent employer understand that the only way to achieve the lofty
safety goals they endlessly talk about is to fully involve the union in health
and safety? When the crane fell from the ceiling in
When OSHA was called in to investigate the “accident”, why did it take the threat of a federal warrant to have the elected safety representative for Local 974, participate in the OSHA investigation? Why was the wreckage of the bridge hoist removed so quickly from the accident scene? The only thing left to do after an “accident” like that is to prevent a similar recurrence by performing a thorough investigation.
Even though I disagree with
how Caterpillar went about their investigation, I do give TTTBU management
thanks for having all of the
Caterpillar has had its way
in health and safety for years now and they have the record to show for it. Two
Two of the more recent initiatives to improve safety-related statistics are bribery and threats. Pizza parties and gifts may be offered to work groups who do not have recordable injuries, but the end effect is that peer pressure prevents the reporting of injuries. Since injuries are caused by exposure to hazards, wouldn’t it be better to reward workers fro reporting hazards?
In many places, CAT has reiterated its intent to discipline their way to a better safety record. We are accountable for following safety rules and Caterpillar is accountable for providing a workplace free of recognized hazards. So if they want accountability—we’re going to be more than happy to give it to them!
Notify your supervisor if there is anything at all that causes you concern when it comes to your health and safety on the job. Ask for your UAW safety representative if you’re not satisfied with the speed or the way your problem was dealt with. If you don’t get representation by the end of the next day, grieve it. If CAT won’t deal with your problem, and the union can’t get it resolved, we’ll use any means necessary to protect the well-being of our members—the gloves are off!
What is it going to take to have a safe and healthy workplace—hopefully no more chalk on the floor!
UAW Local 974