Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Play

Thousands of U.S. immigrants and allies rallied Tuesday to demand that Congress make a pathway to citizenship; oil and gas drilling bonds could go up in Pennsylvania.

Play

UN Secretary General calls for ban on drones; new book by Politico reports Hunter Biden emails to foreign business leaders; VP Harris condemns treatment of Haitian migrants; and Congress works to avoid a government shutdown.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

In Olympia, Calls for Greater Safeguards Against Heat for Farmworkers

Play

Thursday, August 5, 2021   

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Farmworkers are in Olympia today, calling for stronger protections from extreme heat.

The farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la Justicia and other supporters are outside the Department of Labor and Industries, which implemented emergency rules in the wake of a heat wave that killed hundreds in the Northwest.

It requires employers to provide shade or some way of cooling down workers when temperatures reach 100 degrees.

Liz Darrow, legislative advocate for the nonprofit Community to Community Development, which is supporting the action, argued the rules are inadequate and part of a larger pattern.

"The rules themselves are not in favor of health and safety for farmworkers," Darrow asserted. "And this kind of echoes what we have gone through since the beginning of the pandemic trying to get reasonable health and safety protection for farmworkers who are deemed essential but continue to be treated as second-class citizens."

The emergency rules also require more rest breaks in extreme heat. The agency is writing a permanent rule for next summer, and did not respond to a request for comment

Some farm operators have pushed back on the rules, saying more regulations aren't necessary.

The summer also is wildfire season, exposing workers to another hazard: smoke. Darrow noted farmworkers wear layers to protect their skin from pesticides and sun exposure.

"Those temperatures are extreme already," Darrow remarked. "So working any amount of time in those conditions with the wildfire smoke is an obvious safety concern, and it will create more illness and more death. And so the bottom line is that we're trying to keep people safe and keep people alive."

Darrow added there is also concern about how the new rules will be enforced.

During the Northwest's heat wave in June, an Oregon farmworker died due to the extreme temperatures. Today's event also is honoring Honesto Silva Ibarra, a Washington state farmworker who died working in hot, smoky conditions four years ago.

Disclosure: Community to Community Development contributes to our fund for reporting on Human Rights/Racial Justice, Livable Wages/Working Families, Poverty Issues, and Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


Environment

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …


Approximately 3% of the 1,500 students in Montgomery County who were screened for behavioral health indicators were found to be at risk of substance use. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)

Environment

MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…

Environment

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021