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Nader @ Sac. Press Conference and Hearing On The Collapse of Protection For Injured Worker

Friday, August 01, 2008
12:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Location Details:
Hawthorn Suites, Sutter Room
321 Bercut Drive
Sacramento, CA 95811

Sponsored by
California Coalition For Workers Memorial Day CCWMD

end of a guess

Friday August 1, 2008
Press Conference
12:00 Educational Panel on Emergency Crisis For Injured Workers, Ca-OSHA and Healthcare
4:00 PM Press Conference
With Matt Gonzalez, Former President San Francisco Board Of Supervisors
Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate

not a endorsement


Sacramento Press Conference and Hearing On The

Collapse of Protection For Injured Workers,

Workers Comp Cover-up and Crisis In Healthcare

and the Environment


Friday August 1, 2008

12:00 AM Educational Panel on Emergency Crisis For Injured Workers,

Ca-OSHA, EPA and the Healthcare Crisis

Testimony and Reports by Injured Workers, Advocates and Experts on the

Workers Compensation Crisis and the crisis in the regulatory agencies

4:00 PM Press Conference

Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate and Candidate For President

With Matt Gonzalez,
Former President San Francisco Board Of Supervisors
VP Candidate

& Other Candidates

Release Of Documents on

The Destruction of Ca-OSHA and the resulting emergency health and

safety conditions for California workers including Superfund Sites,

Biotech industry and for farm workers.

Documents on the Cover-Up of the Downey Superfund Site in Southern

California and The meaning of this for workers and our environment

Documents on the failure of the CA Department of Insurance

Commissioner Steve Poizner and California District Attorney's to

pursue fraud charges against the insurance industry and employers


Steve Basile, Injured Worker Downey Studios Worker

Bruce Norrbom, Injured Worker At Downey Studio and wife Tammy Norrbom

Vicki Travis, Kaiser

Sandi Trend, Mother of injured Agraquest biotech worker David Bell

Barbara Clark, Injured 7th Day Adventist Bakersfield Hospital Nurse

Dina Padilla, Injured SEIU Kaiser worker BEST

Daniel Berman, Author, Death On The Job

Christy Howarth, Injured teacher, Teachers Association of Long Beach

Al Rojas, Latin American Labor Council and Labor Advocate For

California Farmworkers

David Mitchell, Husband of Deceased Unite-Here Local 2 & Local 2850

Aramark worker Bettye Jean Jones Mitchell

Tera Palliet, Injured PG&E IBEW 1245 worker

Beverly Schenk, Injured Safeway UFCW worker now on SSI

Peter Liu, Injured Kaiser Worker who was an IT manager-Invited

Rory McCarron, Environmental Activist

*initial list

The affects of the collapse of health and safety protection, the

growing destruction of agencies such as the Federal EPA, California

Department of Pesticides and the deregulation of workers compensation

are creating an emergency situation for the workers and people of

California and the United States. Ca-OSHA which is supposed to protect

11 million workers of California has eliminated all 7 physicians that

are charged with protecting the workers health and safety in

California. There is no proper oversight by this agency of the

biotechnology industries and new industries like nanotechnolgy. These

toxic sites and the release of genetically engineered products into

our farms and communities without proper oversight are a growing

deadly danger to our health and the health of other living things.

The growing corruption crisis within the EPA and other government both

state and federal that are charged with protecting the environment and

keeping toxics out of our communities has been compromised. In=2

California the former superfund Downey site has been illegally

developed without being properly cleaned up. The dangerous site which

now houses the Downey Studios, the Downey Kaiser Hospital Complex and

a shopping site has been allowed to be developed into a "Brownfield"

site by developer Stewart Lichter without proper oversight and

corrections. Hundreds of workers are now facing health problems and

the insurance companies are suing each other over liability and the

Federal government is being made liable for these injuries.

In Davis, California at the Agraquest Company, owner Pam Marrone

illegally brought fungus and bacteria into the country to genetically

engineer organic pesticides. David Bell, a biotech worker was infected

by fungus and bacteria and later discovered to be patented by the

owner and other scientists at the company. Despite this, the insurance

carrier Liberty Mutual and the owner Pam Marrone have refused to take

care of his medical care and are cost shifting his medical costs to

the Federal government. Over $330,000 dollars has been paid for

healthcare costs that were the responsibility of Agraquest.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and his Fraud Assessment

Commission which is run by Chair William Zachary who is also a vice

president for risk management for self insured=2
0employer Safeway Inc.

has refused to prosecute fraud by insurance companies not only at

Downey and Davis at Agraquest but in many other cases.

Injured worker Joseph Dow who worked at Lowe's Home Improvement

Company in Pacifica California was fired and his discharge papers were

forged and illegally presented to State Workers Compensation Judges

and a Federal judge yet the San Mateo District Attorney still has not

filed criminal fraud charges. At the same time, injured worker Anita

Blick of Portola who worked for the Atherton Police Department as a

dispatcher was retaliated for her workers compensation claim and

convicted and jailed for 60 days in solitary confinement for "not

telling her doctor she was driving". The conviction was later

overturned by the CA state appellate court but her life has been

destroyed. Injured 7th Day Adventist Hospital chain nurse Barb Clark

has also faced harassment and threats for fighting for her workers


These incidents of injured workers being targeted for workers comp

complaints while insurance companies, their agents and attorneys are

violating criminal laws every day with no enforcement of the law.

This information hearing and press conference will focus on these

cases and the systemic crisis gripping our health and safety and


Hawthorn Suites, Sutter Room

321 Bercut Drive

Sacramento, CA 95811

Free parking

Sponsored by

California Coalition For Workers Memorial Day CCWMD

For registration and media call (415)867-0628



OSHA Under Fire: Reporting, Enforcement Criticized

Monday, July 28, 2008 7:00 AM

by Kilbourne Chris

Category: Enforcement and Inspection

According to a growing number of reports, OSHA has been seriously

understating workplace injuries and illnesses -- and relying on flawed

audits rather than addressing the problem.

Don¹t look now, OSHA, but the shoe is on the other foot.

The agency that inspects America¹s workplaces is itself coming under

increasing scrutiny, with lawmakers and academics accusing OSHA of lax

enforcement and grossly underreporting workplace injuries and illnesses.

The result, they claim, is a distorted picture of worker injuries and

illnesses statistics -- and workplaces that are becoming increasingly


Last month the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor released a

highly critical report titled ³Hidden Tragedy: Underreporting of

Workplace injuries and Illnesses.²

³Top officials at the Department of Labor (DOL) and Occupational

Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often cite declining injury,

illness and fatality n
umbers to demonstrate the effectiveness of their

programs and to fight off criticism that OSHA has abandoned its

original mission of setting and enforcing workplace safety and health

standards,² the report states.

³But extensive evidence from academic studies, media reports, and

worker testimony shows that work-related injuries and illnesses in the

United States are chronically and even grossly underreported,² the

report continues. ³As much as 69 percent of injuries and illnesses may

never make it into the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

(SOII), the nation¹s annual workplace safety and health ³report card²

generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If these estimates

are accurate, the nation¹s workers may be suffering three times as

many injuries and illnesses as official reports indicate.² (Emphasis


Despite these reports, ³OSHA has failed to address the problem,

relying on ineffective audits to argue that the numbers are accurate,²

the committee concluded.

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced last fall that workplace

injury and illness rates for 2006 were the lowest ever recorded and

marked the fourth straight year of rate declines for private sector


Not so fast, said several prominent safety researchers. Lee Friedman,

an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said

that rather than an actual drop in workplace injuries and illnesses,

the statistics merely reflected changes
to OSHA recordkeeping rules

and regulations.

While OSHA statistics show a 35.8 percent decline in occupational

injuries and illnesses between 1992 and 2003, ³83% of the decline can

be attributed to the change in the OSHA recordkeeping rules,² reports

a study by Friedman and Linda Forst.

OSHA¹s own Bob Whitmore, an expert in the agency¹s recordkeeping

requirements, told theCharlotte Observer that OSHA is allowing

employers to vastly underreport workplace injuries and illnesses and

that the true rate for some industries is probably two to three times

what OSHA statistics suggest.

Whitmore said the agency currently is conducting fewer inspections and

issuing fewer fines, leaving businesses to police themselves.

To be fair, though, it must be noted that Whitmore has been on

administrative leave from OSHA since last July, following a

confrontation with a supervisor.

A major cause of injury and illness underreporting is OSHA¹s reliance

on self-reporting by employers, the House committee found.

³Employers have strong incentives to underreport injuries and

illnesses that occur on the job,² the report states. ³Businesses with

fewer injuries and illnesses are less likely to be inspected by OSHA;

they have lower workers¹ compensation insurance premiums; and they

have a better chance of winning government contracts and bonuses.²

The committee said that self-reporting lets employers use various

strategies that result in underreporting,20including:

Widespread intimidation and harassment toward workers reporting

injuries or illnesses

Inadequate medical treatment and having workers return to work too

soon after serious injuries so that the injuries are not properly


Safety incentive programs, which, while usually well intentioned, can

have the effect of pressuring workers to not report their injuries.

In tomorrow¹s Advisor, we¹ll look at more criticisms of OSHA ­

including what some say are outdated and inadequate penalties ­ as

well as a publication that keeps you abreast of the latest news and

changes at the agency and what they could mean for your organization.

National News

Report: Workplace Injuries Unreported

June 24, 2008

Send Feedback E-mail this Article Print this Article Article


A congressional report found two out of three work-related illnesses

and injuries may be going unreported, and called into question federal

regulators' claims that workplace problems are declining.

The House Committee on Education and Labor, which released the report

in Washington, D.C., plans a hearing Tuesday, June 24, 2008, focusing

on whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is

adequately enforcing construction safety rules.

The committee is expected to hear questions about recent construction

deaths20in New York and on the Las Vegas Strip, where officials say 12

workers have died in resort projects since January 2007.

The committee chairman, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., told the panel

on Thursday, June 19, 2008, that workplace injuries and illnesses are

"woefully underreported," and said the report raised concerns about

employers failing to report injuries to OSHA.

Businesses with fewer injuries and illnesses are less likely to be

inspected by OSHA, according to the report, which said that up to 69

percent of workplace injuries and illnesses may never be reported to

the federal agency.

It said employers benefit through lower workers' compensation

insurance premiums and a better chance of winning government contracts

and bonuses.

The report drew on academic studies that compared reports filed with

federal regulators with other sources, including local police

department records, hospital emergency room logs and workers'

compensation records.

June 19's hearing highlighted recent newspaper reports about North

Carolina poultry workers allegedly being intimidated to keep quiet

about injuries while a company claimed perfect safety records.

The committee's ranking Republican, California Rep. Howard "Buck"

McKeon, said the news reports were troubling and warranted further

investigation. But he questioned relying on media reports for facts.

McKeon also said employers need clear direction about reporting

workplace problems.

put up by pres. of
Added to the calendar on Thu, Jul 31, 2008 11:25PM
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