“It is time to change the feeble and antiquated rules that fail to protect workers on the job. We, the undersigned, demand that Congress pass the Protecting America's Workers Act now.”
That’s the message of a new web site launched this week: 16deathsperday.com
The site is sponsored by the Brave New Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. According to a post on the site:
“We will deliver all the signatures gathered to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House labor committees including:
Congressman George Miller (Chair, House Committee on Education and Labor)
Congressman John Kline (Ranking Member, House Committee on Education and Labor)
Congressman Tom Price (Member, House Committee on Education and Labor)
Senator Chris Dodd (Acting Chair, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions)
Senator Mike Enzi (Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions)
Senator Patty Murray (Member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) “
Anyone is allowed to post content on this site, but Brave New Foundation 501(c)(3) is not responsible for that content. We will, however, remove anything unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, racist, or that contains other material that would violate the law.
The site contains the following information:
“Question: How do you get away with murder?
“Answer: Hire your victim.
“There are 16 workplace deaths in the United States every day. Most companies are never prosecuted for negligence, even after repeated warnings that their workers were in danger.
“Under current Federal law, willfully contributing to the death of an employee is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum prison sentence of six months and a maximum fine of $70,000. Even with these weak penalties, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rarely refers such cases to the Department of Justice for prosecution, so those employers that knowingly allow their employees to work under dangerous conditions are rarely held accountable. In fact, current laws are so weak that millions of dollars of penalties to victim's families have not been paid -- in those rare cases when violators are penalized at all. “
“We're committed to continue producing videos that educate the public about issues such as workers’ safety, health care or corporate greed and we need your support to continue doing so,” state a post on the site.
“16 Deaths Per Day,” a video by Brave New Films, is streamed from the site. It highlights the weak deterrence and penalties of the nation’s workplace safety laws.
According to a statement on the Brave New Foundation’s web site, “The vision of Brave New Foundation is an open democratic society that encourages rigorous debate, opportunity and justice for all.
“Our mission is to champion social justice issues by using a model of media, education, and grassroots volunteer involvement that inspires, empowers, motivates and teaches civic participation and makes a difference.
“Thanks to the support of our donors, viewers, and staff, it has been a banner year for Brave New Foundation. Since we started two years ago, the foundation has significantly increased its staff, resources, reach, and impact. Advances in new media have further increased our capacity to engage diverse groups and address a range of social justice issues.
“When we launched our Issue Campaigns in April, our lofty goal was to have them viewed 2 million times - a high number compared to other advocacy videos. In fact, however, by year's end, our campaigns had been viewed over 10 million times. They also resulted in action - on issues including the Iraq War, Economic Disparity, Government Corruption and Equal Rights.
“This past year we worked with a record number of new groups and a total of 112 organizations. Strategic partners such as Sierra Club, Center for Social Inclusion, Media Matters and ColorofChange.org, worked closely with us to get the word out and turn awareness into advocacy and activism.
“This year we developed the Iraq War Memorial, and Brave New Theaters continued to help documentary filmmakers distribute their social justice films. We also continued to support high school and college education programs with media materials. All of this work could not have been done without the generous contribution of individual donors and foundations alike. Thank you for supporting us this past year. We look forward to continuing to make a difference by bringing important issues to light throughout 2008.
Jim Miller is the executive director of the Brave New Foundation.
Partners of the foundation include: the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Media and Democracy, Human Rights Watch, National Organization of Women, Service Employees International Union, Think New Orleans, and World Resisters League.
The FIGHT Project, coordinated by Ron and Dot Hayes to counsel families of workplace accident and fatality victims, is a supporting group of the 16deathsperday site.