Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA)

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Fulfilling the Promise of Safe Jobs for All Workers

Four decades ago, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), promising American workers the right to a safe job. While progress has been made since the OSH Act was passed, too many workers are still dying, getting injured or become ill by working in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. In 2008, on average, 100 American workers died every week because of fatal work injuries.1 There are major gaps and weaknesses in the Act and, unlike most other federal safety and health laws the OSH Act has never been updated.

There is a solution underway in Congress that would remedy many of OSHA’s limitations and help fulfill the mission of the Agency as conceived in the original OSH Act. The IBT has joined with other Labor Unions, OSHA2, the Obama Administration, and Congressional leaders in calling for the passage of the Protecting America’s Workers Act of 2009 (PAWA). H.R. 20673 and S.15804-would “amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to expand coverage under the Act, to increase protections for whistleblowers, to increase penalties for certain violators, and for other purposes.”

The current draft of the PAWA would accomplish many things, including:

Protecting America’s Workers Act 2009 (PAWA)

Protects More Workers

Strengthens Health and Safety Penalties

Improves Whistleblower Protections (Section 11 (c) of OSH Act)

Allows Workers and Their Families to Hold Dangerous Employers Accountable

What You Can Do

Should Congress enact the Protecting America’s Workers’ Act, it would be the most sweeping reform of worker safety and health protections in America since the creation of OSHA.

Contact your members of Congress and urge them to support and co-sponsor PAWA (H.R. 2067, S.1580) to provide all workers the safety and health protections that they need and deserve and are long-overdue.You can contact the IBT Safety and Health Department, (202) 624-6960, the Field and Political Action Department, (202) 624-6993, or the Federal Legislation and Regulations Department, (202) 624-8741, to find out who to contact in your area.