Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1970, after years of intensive lobbying by the labor movement, a comprehensive national safety law was enacted as President Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 , creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
Since OSHA opened its doors in 1971, workplace fatalities have been cut in half and occupational injury and illness rates have dropped 40 percent. Even so, too many workers continue to be killed and injured on the job.
Today’s labor quote is Tony Mazzocchi, the primary force behind enactment of OSHA.
Speaking about the exposure of hundreds of workers to asbestos in Tyler, Texas, during the 1960s, he said:
"I wanted the whole country to know in detail what had happened at that factory, and to understand what had gone on there—the fruitless...lack of enforcement by the Department of Labor, the whole long lousy history of neglect, deceit and stupidity—was happening in dozens of other ways, in hundreds of other factories, to thousands of other men across the land. I wanted people to know that thousands upon thousands of their fellow citizens were being assaulted daily, and that the police—in this case, the federal government—had done nothing to remedy the situation. In short I wanted them to know that murder was being committed in the workplace, and that no one was bothering about it."