Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health
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Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health



Health and Safety Activist and Public Health Professionals gather at the Annual Worker Health and Safety Policy Summit in San Francisco, CA

The Worker Health and Safety Policy Summit took place on Saturday, October 27 in San Francisco, CA. The goal of this convening of worker advocates and activists from across the country is to explore the current state of worker health and safetyand strategize for a plan mobilizing people to create change.


Dr. Linda Rae Murray

Halogenated-Flame-RetardantsThe summit began with a powerful keynote speech from Chicago-based public health activist and champion of social justice,Dr. Linda Rae Murray. Her message began by pondering the following questions "are we better off today than 150 years ago? Are we where we wanted to be today 150 years ago?" In her speech she critically analyzed our reality since the declaration of emancipation, which was 150 years ago. She had a wake up call for all of attendees: "We know what we need to do to prevent worker's deaths...Social movements need to be vibrant and demand change…Workers are under attack! When we come together, we organize and we fight for ALL workers rights, that's when we win…"

Worker Dialogue

After Dr. Murray, we heard testimonies from workers representing some key California-based campaigns such as the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, the Don't Waste LA Campaign, the Hyatt Hurts Campaign and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, as well as a leader in the struggle for sustainable electronics and safer workplaces in Asia. They engaged in a dialogue moderated by Jessica Martinez, Assistant Director for National COSH. They talked about their realities, their struggles and ways in which they are taking action and mobilizing to bring change.

International Representatives

The summit had an international presence not only with our brothers and sisters from Asia who shared with attendees about their fight for healthier, safer and fairer workplaces in their countries but also with Colectivo Altepee who shared their traditional music from Veracruz. Colectivo Altepee utilizes their music to build community and support several struggles for liberation, self-determination and social justice in Veracruz and throughout Mexico.

Skill Building and Work Group Strategy Sessions

During the Skill Building and Strategy sessions, topics included how to flex our political muscle, new media and technology for social change, responsible contractor campaigns, immigrant worker rights, and the right to act without employer retaliation, among many others.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels was the closing speaker.

Since the summit's focus is to "strategize a plan for mobilizing people to create change," attendees closed the summit by organizing a delegation to visit the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf. Attendees learned that Cal/OSHA had issued them serious citations to for health and safety violations, amounting to more than $20,000 in fines but that Hyatt has appealed these violations. The delegation was an attempt to request that Hyatt drop the appeal and accept responsibility for their health and safety violations and, most importantly, take actions to rectify the hazardous working conditions there. The delegation presented over 100 signed requests for Hyatt to drop the appeal on their Cal/OSHA citations.




Jessica was given the 2012 Lorin Kerr Award for Activism from the Occupational Health and Safety Section (OHS) of the American Public Health Association (APHA) ¡Felicidades Compañera!


National cosh worker health and safety conference

Our work continues and we're now preparing for our National COSH Worker Health and Safety Conferencel which will take place December 6-7, 2012 at the Maritime Institute in Baltimore, MD.

The conference is building momentum with activists from around the country planning to participate, share new tools and plan strategies for future action in worker health and safety rights. We will be announcing agenda updates [including workshops in Spanish] and the 2012 National COSH Awards in the coming week.

Early registration is available till next Friday, Nov. 9. We look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

National COSH Conference




When:  December 6-7, 2012

Where: Maritime Institute
           Baltimore, MD


Supported by The COSH Network





P.S. Click here to dowload the Conference's complete agenda.

SoCalCOSH is a project of Community Partners


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