Newsletter February 11, 2016
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From the Executive Director's Desk

We have been monitoring the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a bad trade deal that WEC has previously opposed. TPP would make it easier to move millions of jobs overseas and exploit workers in other countries at starvation wages. TPP would also make it easier to challenge federal, state and local environmental and worker safeguards or other policies that might reduce future corporate profits. The national AFL-CIO has a good summary posted on their website. WEC has joined our allies, including USW in opposing the TPP. When the final agreement is presented to Congress for approval, it should be rejected. WEC will keep you posted.

In Solidarity,
Dangers of Chlorine Bleach Plants
WEC co-released a report with Greenpeace on the hazards posed by chlorine bleach plants across the United States. According to the report, 86 facilities continue to use huge quantities of chlorine gas in its manufacturing process. These facilities are needlessly putting 63 million people at risk when there are known industry safer alternatives that eliminate the need to use chlorine gas.
In New Jersey, Kuehne Chemical Inc. located in South Kearny, Hudson County, could potentially put up to 8.9 million people needlessly at risk in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. The problem goes beyond the use of the chlorine gas in the manufacturing process, as chlorine bleach manufacturers frequently ship and receive their supply in 90-ton rail cars vulnerable to accidents.
“The public is in the dark about rail car hazards, whether they are transporting crude oil, chlorine gas or some other highly toxic material,” said Dan Fatton, WEC Executive Director. “To truly protect public safety, bleach manufacturing facilities should prioritize a transition from chlorine gas to liquid bleach and eliminate the transport and storage of bulk chlorine gas.”

To find out more, read the full "Chlorine Bleach Plants Needless Endanger Millions," report.
Show WEC Some Love
Please Renew Your Membership
Last month WEC sent out renewal information to our members. Please contact us if you have not yet received your membership mailing or if you have questions. Thank you to all the members who already renewed their membership. As a reminder, you can pay for your membership renewal online. If you aren't yet a member, please consider joining today!
Waiting for the Final Silica Rule

The Labor Department has sent its final silica rule to the White House, and it is scheduled for release this month. The crystalline silica rule was first published back in September, 2013.  Workers who handle concrete, granite or landscaping materials and generate dust can be exposed to crystalline silica, which is 100 times smaller than sand on beaches. Workers who inhale these particles can develop silicosis, lung cancer, COPD and kidney disease. Silicosis is an incurable and progressive, but preventable disease.

OSHA has estimated that its silica rule  could save more than 600 lives each year and prevent the development of 1,500 new silicosis cases. The rule reduces to 50 micrograms per cubic meter the acceptable exposure during an eight-hour workday. We will keep you posted about these long-awaited regulations.
Worker Memorial Day
April 24th in New Brunswick

Join WEC, New Labor and partner organizations at our 2016 Worker Memorial Day event. Details will be announced soon.

Workers' Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died on the job or suffered workplace injuries, while raising awareness to prevent future illnesses, injuries and deaths. Our 2015 Worker Memorial Day event was a success with more than 400 attendees.

On April 24, we will come together and march to raise awareness of the need and the right to safe workplaces. Please join us to advocate for safer workplaces. 
Need a speaker for an upcoming event, meeting, or training conference on workplace, environmental, or school safety issues? WEC staff would love to help. Contact Cecelia Gilligan Leto for more information.
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Upcoming Events

March 30 
Media Training

NJIT, Newark

April 24
Worker Memorial Day 

New Brunswick
Watch our PSA on Generators as you prepare for winter storms. 
Copyright © 2016 NJ Work Environment Council, All rights reserved.

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