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Workers’ Comp Hub website highlights advocate work

Have you had a chance yet to check out the new Workers’ Comp Hub website, launched recently by National COSH and the National Economic & Social Rights Initiative (NESRI)? If not, don’tworry. There’s still plenty of time to explore this great new resource for injured and ill workers.  

The Workers’ Comp Hub website provides:

  • Basic information for injured and ill workers in all 50 states to help them navigate the complex workers’ compensation system;
  • Resources and advocacy tools that present the problems, possible progressive reforms and pathways for pro-worker advocacy and action; and
  • A platform for sharing human rights based strategies and solutions as well as promoting actions and events.

The new resource also features guest blog posts from workers’ comp advocates. Visit now to see the stories of Allen Ray Bernard (injured worker activist), María E. Gutiérrez (Interfaith Worker Justice) and Jim Ellenberger (retired AFL-CIO). Here are some highlights:

“It all started when I was injured in the line of duty while working at a sugar refinery,” said Allen Ray Bernard. “My right shoulder was injured badly and the doctor said that was due to a repetitive motion disorder from lifting heavy objects. My injury developed into a permanent disability. From earning $6000-7000 a month, I was earning $262 a week, nothing else. I qualified for nothing else. And even the comp payments- they might come but might not. Lost my house, my car and my family because of my injury and because of the system. And this is the story of many workers. Getting injured was an immediate eye-opener. The system just does not care about you. I was educated right quick that something is wrong. What did I do wrong? All I was guilty of was going to work one day. But we can’troll over- we got to fight back. Someone created this unjust system- someone got to tear it down.”  

“Reporters don’tknow about workers’ compensation laws and the role of OSHA,” said Maria Gutierrez of Interfaith Worker Justice. “Religious leaders don’tknow. Low-wage workers don’tknow. The workers’ compensation “system” is failing workers. Despite its importance to workers, especially low-wage workers, many advocates are clueless about the existence and importance of workers’ comp. [Here] are ten suggestions from Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) for making workers’ compensation reform more significant for the broader advocacy community.”

“Policy makers and their corporate sponsors have been engaged in a ” race to the bottom,” pitting one state against another to see who can make their location the most ” business-friendly” by cutting workers comp and unemployment protections for workers, passing anti-union laws, and providing taxpayer subsidies, environmental waivers, and tax holidays for wealthy companies. Insurers have opened their treasuries to make huge campaign contributions to both federal and state legislators and have hired legions of lobbyists to help their political friends write laws that ensure them even greater profits and lenient treatment by regulators,” said Jim Ellenberger. “If you are tired of this treatment and manipulation of our political process, there are some things that you can do.”  

Interested in being a guest blogger for Workers’ Comp Hub? Contact Dorry Samuels (dorry.samuels [at], National COSH’s Communications Manager, and she” d be happy to help.

Our aim is to build a broad based network that connects policy efforts in workers’ compensation with advocacy and organizing on the ground. We invite you to share feedback, resources and tools as well as suggest events and actions for inclusion. Email us at [email protected].  

We look forward to hearing from you!