Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UWUA Members Take Control of Workplace Safety

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

While COVID-19 has made safety and personal protective equipment topics of discussion worldwide, workplace hazards are nothing new for utility workers. And members of the Utility Workers (UWUA) union deal with dangers every day they are on the job. In the latest edition of UWUA’s quarterly magazine, The Utility Worker, the union features an article that explains how many of its locals are implementing a range of effective safety models at work.

“This important piece shows there’s no wrong way to strengthen workplace safety culture,” said UWUA President James Slevin. “From employing full-time safety representatives (models used by Local 1-2, Michigan State Utility Workers Council and California Water Utility Council, for example), to a peer-to-peer model (used at Locals 127, 648, 369 and 335), or a statewide consortium (like that used by Locals 428, 397, 427, 425, 434), these locals are setting the bar high. I’m confident there’s something we can take and apply in our work from all of these examples.”

This was originally appeared at AFL-CIO on 04/04/2022.

About the Authors: Kenneth Quinell is a Senior Writer at AFL-CIO.

Aaron Gallant is the Internal Communications Specialist at AFL-CIO

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.