Environmental Unions: Labor and the Superfund

Environmental Unions: Labor and the Superfund


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780895033895
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/01/2009
Series: Work, Health and Environment Series
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Craig Slatin is an associate professor of Community Health and Health Policy and chair of the Department of Community Health and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is the co-director of the Center for Health Promotion and Research, through which he runs a New England region hazardous waste workers' health and safety training program and has conducted research exploring the political economy of the work environment in the healthcare sector. Dr. Slatin is a co-editor of New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations and Acronyms

Cleaning Up the 20th-Century Mess: Protecting the Workers Who Do It

Chapter 2
Workers on Poisoned Ground

Chapter 3
Moving Congress to Mandate Worker Protection

Chapter 4
A Fair Shake and Peer Review

Chapter 5
Cohesion, Conflicts, and Excellence: The WETP Grows

Chapter 6
OCAW Worker-to-Worker Training

Chapter 7
The L-AGC: "Training Is the Blood That Runs Through Our Veins"

Chapter 8
The Political Economy of Labor's Policy Initiative and Regulation

Chapter 9
The WETP: Protecting Workers, but the Ground Remains Poisoned

Interviews and Correspondence

What People are Saying About This

Michael Silverstein

"An impressive and important achievement. Dr. Slatin successfully blends the big picture with the details in reconstructing and preserving the history of the WETP. His unflinching account of the struggles to protect hazardous waste workers and emergency response workers from harm not only is a fascinating account of the recent past but will serve well as a guide to the future. The book is full of the kind of intriguing detail that only a skilled social historian can uncover-for example, the midnight maneuvering that explains why this worker training program has been directed by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences instead of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health."--(Michael Silverstein, M.D., M.P.H., Clinical Professor, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health)

Carol Rice

"The worker training program is one of the most far-reaching public health initiatives of the late 20th century. The education, training, and empowerment of workers to reduce workplace exposures will have a continued impact on improving health for years to come. This detailed chronicle of program development and the subsequent lessons learned is a credit to Dr. Slatin's diligence and is a valuable resource for the design of future initiatives by labor and government. The book documents history, but the content must not become history. Dr. Slatin's work challenges the nation to expanded education and training in health and safety so that health is preserved at work."--(Carol Rice, Ph.D., C.I.H, Professor, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati)

Karla R. Armenti

"Environmental Unions: Labor and the Superfund is specifically about labor's multiple policy initiatives that led to the setting up of the Workers Education and Training Program, particularly during a time when labor's own power was declining. In a broader sense, it is a story about the strengths and weaknesses of labor, and how unions responded to the rise of the hazardous waste management industry, with its inherent dangers for workers, by pursuing both public and private sector measures to protect their members. The WETP exists because of labor's ability to perceive the need for worker protection strategies related to the state's responses to demands from the environmental movement. Dr. Slatin has provided a critical framework for understanding the historical relevance of movements as actors in the political economy of the work environment and occupational safety and health regulation. This story of how unions were able to develop coalitions with environmentalists demonstrates the potential for labor and other movements to join in promoting policies that may lead to a more sustainable future. It is an important model for anyone interested in changing traditional ideas and practices as we pursue new strategies for achieving the advancement of workers' rights and global democracy."--(Karla R. Armenti, Sc.D., Chief, Health Statistics & Data Management, New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, Adjunct Professor, M.P.H.Program, University of New Hampshire)

Celeste Monforton

"Slatin's Environmental Unions offers readers all the fine details of the social and political events leading to safety and health protections for workers in the hazardous waste industry. But more importantly, he introduces us to the people and personalities who created and then sustained the WETP. Historians and students will love the book for its robust references. Public health and labor advocates will feel connected to the individuals who recognized a problem and formed diverse coalitions to solve it."--(Celeste Monforton, M.P.H, Dr.P.H, Assistant Research Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University School of Public Health, 2008-2009 Chair, Occupational Health and Safety Section, American Public Health Association)

Paul Morse

"In the 1980s, diverse movements of labor unions, community organizations, public health professionals, and environmental activists took action to confront the tragedy of exposures to chemical and hazardous material waste sites, spills, emissions, and accidental releases. This loose alliance fought for reauthorization of the federal Superfund program and, as part of it, demanded the creation of a worker health and safety training program to prepare the workers who must clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites and those on the front line of emergency response. In 1986, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences established the Worker Education and Training Program, now a network of more than 100 organizations Dr. Slatin, a key participant in the WETP for much of its existence, has written a fascinating and informative history of this effective union of federal resources with private and public nonprofit organizations. I recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the challenges and rewards of a unique and effective public health intervention. The WETP has had to adapt in dramatic fashion to address the growing levels of man-made and natural disasters and has saved untold numbers of lives. Slatin captures that history and, more importantly, relates how this network remains true to the principles that shaped it."--(Paul Morse, Project Director, The New England Consortium, University of Massachusetts Lowell)

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