Monday, March 27, 2023

Play

Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

Play

Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

Play

Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

MN Warehouse Workers: Unsafe at Any Speed?

Play

Tuesday, January 17, 2023   

Consumer demand for delivery companies like Amazon is not going away. But some people in Minnesota want more protections for workers filling orders on tight deadlines. The National Employment Law Project has reported the injury rate for Amazon warehouse workers in Minnesota is nearly two times greater than those working at similar facilities for other industries.

Khali Jama, an Amazon Fulfilment Center employee recently testified before a Minnesota House committee of a demanding environment that gives employees little room to work at a safe pace.

"Most of the injuries come from the speed - if you're not on a certain speed, the manager will come and talk to you. If you're still not on that speed that they want you to be, they'll come and talk to the second time," Jama said. "The third time you get [a] write-up and you're fired through an app."

Jama added English is not the primary language for many workers who may not be aware of their rights. The committee passed a bill setting safety requirements for warehouses, including preventing production quotas that interfere with meal and bathroom breaks. Over the past year, Amazon has acknowledged these concerns but insists most workers express satisfaction with jobs that offer competitive starting pay and health benefits.

Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, said it's clear Amazon is not doing enough to protect its warehouse employees, but questioned whether legislation is needed.

"It's been over a year now since we've heard this bill," McDonald said. "The same concerns from those who are treated not very respectfully at one particular company when this particular bill could really affect hundreds of companies that are treating their employees like human beings."

He suggested a current law still allows key agencies to crack down on violators. But bill sponsors have said OSHA standards dealing with specific industries have not been updated in 15 years. They added the bill would give the Department of Labor Industry power to investigate violators. Scrutiny would center on warehouses that have an injury rate 30% higher than the industry average.


get more stories like this via email
During this year's ACA open-enrollment period, a record high of more than 16 million people signed up, with 4.4 million more enrolled for health insurance coverage since 2021, according to federal data. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

It's been 13 years since more than 156,000 West Virginians gained health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. As sweeping and …


Social Issues

High school graduates have the option before taking their next academic step to choose a gap year - for traveling, relaxing, or researching different …

Environment

A bill designed to fight price-gouging at the gas pump is expected to pass the California State Assembly today and be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom …


Student leaders learn about the estuary near Morro Rock, which is part of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. (Kai Monge)

Environment

This week, Hispanic environmental advocates are heading to Washington, D.C., from around the country to engage lawmakers on issues affecting us all…

Social Issues

Massachusetts, like other states, continues to struggle with a shortage of teachers. But for one English teacher at Martha's Vineyard Regional High …

Cancer care costs are expected to top more than $245 billion by 2030, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Beginning next year, more Kentuckians will have expanded access to biomarker testing - which helps doctors customize cancer treatment. Advocates of …

Social Issues

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new regulations on credit card late fees, which could save Americans billions of dollars…

Environment

Researchers with the University of New Hampshire are taking to the skies to study the state's increasingly fragmented forests. Urban and …

 

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