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Mike Bryant
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Bush Watch: Employee Protections Under Attack

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There has been a clear warning from consumer protection groups that the next 55 days could be an all out assault on consumer protections. Despite promises that little would be done to change things on the way out, it seems clear that allegiance to big business and the protection of their friends is going to prove what the Bush administration has always been about. At a time when business after business is turning to the government for a bailout, this lame duck administration is looking to bar the court house door for the average consumer.

There are 21 areas that are being closely watched for administrative changes. One of those areas is attempts by the Department of Labor to change the standards for employees affected by chemical or toxic exposure. The present system can take as long as eight years to navigate for the injured worker. It is believed by employee advocates that the proposed changes could add two or three years to the process.

“This rule is being pushed through by an administration that, for the last seven and a half years, has failed to set any new OSHA health rules to protect workers, except for one issued pursuant to a court order,” said Margaret M. Seminario, director of occupational safety and health for the A.F.L.-C.I.O.

This action and any other must be opposed and called what it is. A bail out for their friends and an attack on the rights of every American.