Defend workers' safety, help formerly incarcerated people find employment

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IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY . . .

Enlist red-state friends to stop Trumpcare!  (See yesterday's Daily Action: https://www.seattleindivisible.com/daily-actions/2017/6/7/stop-trumpcare-and-reject-otting)

More info on the Republican effort to "fast-track" a health care bill - http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/336905-senate-gop-paves-way-for-obamacare-repeal-bill

Action 1:  Defend worker protections under OSHA

The Trump administration is taking aim at worker protections under OSHA.  Protections for beryllium workers, at risk for severe lung disease, have already been weakened.  Workers who deal with hazardous chemicals and substances- like at Hanford - or who work under dangerous or life-threatening situations could be dramatically affected. Their health is at stake. Urge your representative to support worker protections.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal:
DC - 202-225-3106
Seattle - 206-674-0040

Rep. Adam Smith:
DC - 202-225-8901
Renton - 425-793-5180

Script:

“My name is [name], and I’m calling from [city, zip]. I am calling to ask [MOC name] to fight to preserve OSHA worker protections.  I am upset that important workplace health and safety rules are being called into question under the Trump administration, such dropping the restrictions on beryllium exposure, which could have saved lives.  Please fight for workers' rights to have non-lethal, non-destructive working conditions.”

MORE INFO

From the New York Times:  "Under Trump, Worker Protections Are Viewed With New Skepticism:  There’s a relaxation in the approach to occupational safety and business is getting a bigger voice, while hard-won victories for safety advocates are being reversed.

"Nearly four decades in the making, a new rule under the Obama administration was set to lower workplace exposure to beryllium, an industrial mineral linked to a lung disease that is to estimated to kill 100 people annually. And the nation’s largest beryllium producer had agreed to back the new restrictions.

“Once we finish, these workers will be protected and we will end the epidemic of beryllium exposure in the United States,” David Michaels, the OSHA chief, said at the time in 2015.

"But several weeks ago, just as the rule was going into effect, the safety agency suddenly proposed changes that experts expect may exempt major industries from the tougher standard. It was one of several instances in which workplace safety decisions have been revisited in the early months of the Trump administration."  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/business/under-trump-worker-protections-are-viewed-with-new-skepticism.html

Action 2: Help formerly incarcerated people who are seeking employment

Formerly incarcerated people face significant obstacles in obtaining housing, employment, and other services.  Bias - both overt and hidden - greatly hinders people who have been released from prison after serving time.  You may have heard that the U.S. rate of incarceration is higher than in any other country on the Earth - it is 3-4 times higher than the next-nearest rate, even though our general victimization rates were comparable with other European countries.  Not only that, but former inmates are saddled with tens of thousands of restrictions and limitations on their rights, which vary from state to state.

A group of senators who are from both sides of the aisle have introduced the Fair Chance Act, S. 842.  This bill would support the search for employment among formerly incarcerated people, by preventing federal employers and contractors from asking applicants about their criminal history until the final stages of hiring.  This bill is awaiting a Senate vote.  Call your senators and express your support to help support formerly incarcerated people in finding jobs.

Senator Patty Murray
DC - 202-224-2621
Seattle - 206-553-5545

Senator Maria Cantwell
DC - 202-224-3441
Seattle - 206-220-6400

Script:

“My name is [name], and I’m calling from [city, zip]. I am calling to ask [MOC name] to support S. 842, the Fair Chance Act.  I have read that the U.S. incarceration rate is 3-4 times that of other countries, and that people who have served their time have a hard time finding housing and employment.  It's important to that we help formerly incarcerated people to find employment and to make new lives.  I also urge you to keep exploring bi-partisan legislative efforts like S. 842.  Thank you.”

Background:

S. 842 bill - http://www.nelp.org/news-releases/congress-introduces-bipartisan-legislation-to-ensure-formerly-incarcerated-and-people-with-records-have-fair-chance-to-work/

"Yes, the U.S. locks up people at a higher rate than any other country"  - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/07/yes-u-s-locks-people-up-at-a-higher-rate-than-any-other-country/?utm_term=.d54c6b137671

"Ex-offenders face tens of thousands of legal restrictions, bias and limits on their rights" - http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/ex-offenders_face_tens_of_thousands_of_legal_restrictions

DID YOU KNOW?

5CALLS.ORG is an activist site that highlights significant political issues and provides background information, a sample script for calling, and phone numbers to reach your MOCs.  You can also get the 5CALLS app on your phone.  Over 1.4 million phone calls have been logged through 5CALLS.ORG. More info: https://5calls.org/