Letter: Standing up for unions, and workplace safety

To the editor:

For eight years, serving as the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health's communication director, I have shared the struggles of low-wage workers and the gantlet of health and safety issues they face. Isolated and desperate, these workers expose themselves daily to chemical hazards, lead, dangerous machines without training, deadly heights, and so much more. In 2016, 70 workers needlessly died on the job in the Bay State in an attempt to make a living.

Fortunately, union jobs allow workers the freedom to speak out against dangerous workplace hazards. Together, they embody the proud American tradition of standing together so that not one worker has to put their health and life on the line to support their families. It's a freedom Americans fought hard for.

On Monday (Feb. 26) I will be joining thousands of union workers across the state to stand against billionaires' and corporate CEOs' attempt to take away our freedom to effectively join together to improve workplace safety through the Supreme Court via Janus v. AFSCME. This upcoming case could limit American's freedom to come together in strong unions, meaning many more workers will find themselves working the low-wage, dangerous jobs that contribute to needless injury and even death.

Jeff Newton,


The writer is communication director, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.


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