Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Next time there's a SEPTA strike and you hear people grumbling...

...Remind them of this:

Septa Driver Shot, Drives to Hospital.

"A bus driver for SEPTA drove herself to a hospital after being shot in Philadelphia's Grays Ferry section, KYW Newsradio is reporting."
It's worth remembering that there are a lot more risks inherent to many of the jobs we tend to take for granted than meets the eye. This is a sad example: transit workers often face exposure to street violence and conflict that has been carried onto their vehicle.

Similarly, nurses and social workers encounter extremely high rates of violence during their everyday work. Casino attendants risk respiratory problems from inhaling such high levels of second hand smoke working the floor. Bike messengers work under constant risk of injury or death in traffic, and suffer an increased risk of fertility problems.

Unions have long sought to maximize workplace safety and minimize risk (think how manufacturing conditions have changed since the days of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire 100 years ago). They also play a role in making sure that where risks are taken, workers are adequately compensated and cared for.

It's our responsibility as a movement to remember and remind folks that labor struggle isn't just about contracts and strikes, pensions and wages. We need to be vocal about the fact that while these issues are important, our struggle is also about health and safety--about life and death.

via Philadelphia Business Journal.

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