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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Latinos more exposed to death from work-related accidents

Por qubano22005

The work environment for Latinos does not look good. In addition to the restrictions of Donald Trump to exercise legally in any profession, there is also the dangerous exposure of these to death in their work places. Recently, a study by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) showed that they were the ethnic group that still exceeds the 3.6 deaths per 100,000 workers of the labor force in the United States.

Most of them perform high-risk tasks without due protection. The annual report on work safety of the AFL-CIO, also pointed out a decrease compared to previous years in the labor mortality of Latinos, from 4 per 100,000 workers in 2015 to 3.7 in 2016.

Many American companies does not take into account work safety and health, which has meant that since there are no control measures to prevent accidents, several of the workers are highly exposed to suffer risks. According to the AFL-CIO report, during the past year Latinos died in high-risk jobs due to accidents during transport, height falls and contact with machinery. Several Work Health and Safety experts believe this occurs because President Donald Trump has repealed labor resolutions and protections. In addition, there are the budget cuts in institutions that monitor accomplishment of labor safety standards. Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO’s chairman, said the country is experiencing a crisis.

The report presented by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health stated that among the companies that most fail to ensure those standards established to protect workers there are the New York and Atlantic Railway. This company had already faced a demand of 18 Latino-origin workers, who were victims of work accidents, as well as illnesses resulting from the work they performed. Among the plaintiffs' allegations was that unlike their American counterparts, they received the most dangerous assignments without equipment or training.

James Bonner, president of New York and Atlantic Railway, denied these accusations and arguing they were unfounded and that none of the plaintiffs were employees of the company.

Other companies use this last argument to avoid lawsuits. Latinos are one of the largest migrant masses in the United States. Several of those who arrive to the land of dreams rarely begin their work in the professions in which they worked in their native countries. When they find themselves without papers or other legal status, they have to survive accepting the first thing offered. Latinos perform jobs that Americans do not want to exercise, particularly highly risky jobs where payment does not compensate the risk to which they are exposed. Perhaps this explains the boom during the last period of companies and websites that offer job placement services to newly Latino arrived although still unemployment, in 2015, affected 6.4% of the Latino population.

However, the Pyrrhic victory in the reduction of labor mortality in the Latino community is explained by the decrease in the number of Mexican migrants who access jobs. It is well known that Trump's anti-migration war is primarily aimed at Mexicans. According to the AFL-CIO, the Mexican immigrant workforce declined. However, there are currently living in Uncle Sam’s land 31 million 798 thousand 258 Mexicans, 4 million 623 thousand 716 Puerto Ricans, and 1 million 785 thousand 547 Cubans.

The report also showed that 50% of Hispanic workers committed suicide. In 2016 there were a total of 5,190 labor deaths in the United States, a substantial increase from the 4,836 deaths reported in 2015.

The sectors where Latinos mostly work according to a study by the U.S. Department of Labor are: 27.3% in construction; 23.1% in the fields, forests, fishing and hunting; 22.3% in bars, restaurants and hotels; 17.2% in mining and oil or gas extraction; 17.2% in transportation and public services; 16.4% in wholesale and retail trade and 11.5% in education and services of health.

The report also highlighted that the states with the most affluence of Latinos are the same with the biggest figures of workplace deaths: Texas (221), California (148) and Florida (91). Currently the largest Latino populations are in California with 14 million 13 thousand 179, Texas with 9 million 460 thousand 921, and Florida with 4 million 223 thousand 806.