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Signs of change in Obama’s State of the Union address

Now safely in his second term, the whole country – National COSH included – seems to be studying President Barack Obama to see signs of whether he’s changed and what that means for the remainder of his tenure. And tonight, during his State of the Union address, we’ll get a peek at Obama’s post-election priorities. 

The New York Times today has a piece that says that many see the president as more combative and less cautious now when it comes to his second-term agenda. We certainly hope that’s the case. But the real question is, what does that mean for workers?

A more combative, less cautious Obama could promulgate rules to protect workers from exposure to dangerous levels of silica dust on the job. A more combative, less cautious president could enact an injury and illness prevention standard that would help employers find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt. And certainly, a more combative, less cautious Commander in Chief could push for comprehensive immigration reform, protecting the millions of immigrant workers in the country who may be too afraid to come forward with concerns about their health and safety on the job. 

Suit up, Mr. President, and tell us what you have planned for workers in the next four years. We’ll be listening.

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