Our Union Listening Campaign

September 10, 2019

Many studies have shown that unions have the best track record of enforcing workplace health and safety. Because health and safety are mandatory subjects of collective bargaining, unions are a powerful tool for workers to protect themselves.
MassCOSH is conducting a listening campaign with our union members to identify the workplace hazards they face to help unions fight for safer, healthier jobs.  As part of this effort, we have learned about, and in some cases are already supporting, a range of health and safety efforts led by unions. The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts won legislation to help clean carcinogens off their gear and are now fighting for a ban on ineffective, toxic flame retardants. MassCOSH has helped the building trades, (in particular Teamsters Local 25 and Ironworkers Local 7) to develop peer trainings for workers struggling with opioid usage. The Massachusetts Nurses Association is treating the spate of member workplace injuries with legislation to improve patient handling and reduce workplace violence. Teachers and school custodians are educating themselves about the new law giving public sector employees the right to a healthy and safe workplace, using it to make schools clean and free of indoor air pollution and other hazards.
As a union, workers can do so much more than win decent wages and benefits. Our listening tour is our latest effort to learn more about worker concerns and use our collective power to fight for the next generation of worker rights. To learn more, please email ben.w@masscosh.org.