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Union worries about state, federal changes that affect workplace safety

Workers Memorial Day ceremony at USW Local 105 Union Hall in Bettendorf on April 28, 2017

 

BETTENDORF — A local union leader says that workplace safety standards are under attack due to state and federal policy changes.

USW Local 105 President Brad Greve contends that revisions to Iowa workers compensation laws and federal cutbacks to agencies like OSHA and EPA will create hazards for workers.

“You can’t ever let up,” said Greve.

During a ceremony for Workers Memorial Day on Friday, April 28, he urged participants to contact lawmakers and speak out.

“You have to be constantly vigilant,” he continued.

Arconic employees, retirees and families met at the union hall to honor lives lost to workplace accidents all across the country. There were solemn moments and prayers as a color guard marched through the union hall to remember fallen workers.

Nearly 150 workers die each day in the U.S. from preventable work related injuries and illnesses.

While the Arconic plant is pro-active about safety measures, it recently reported three serious on-the-job injuries. In 2012, an employee was killed in a workplace accident at the plant.

Participants hope the event will shed a brighter spotlight on safety issues.

Arconic reinforced its commitment to safety as one of the company’s core values.  Management and staffers regularly meet to evaluate safety issues at the plant.

The company is also committed to not leaving any footprint in the environment.

Greve called on the audience to remember the fallen by stepping up safety measures.

“It’s a day to re-energize everybody to get back to making sure we’re looking at everything,” Greve concluded.  “What we can do for safety at our workplaces.”