Press Release: July 20, 2022
The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced the publication of a new groundbreaking guide from its Health, Safety, and Environment Department. The book, “Bargaining for Stop Work Authority to Prevent Injuries and Save Lives,” is the first and most comprehensive publication designed to help workers develop programs that allow them to stop unsafe or unhealthy operations and processes until hazards are resolved.
“The United Steelworkers is proud to issue this path-breaking guide,” said USW International President Tom Conway. “OSHA does not require stop work authority, so it’s up to us. This booklet will be an essential part of protecting workers’ lives on the job.”
The publication includes information on the importance of well-designed stop work authority programs and the pitfalls of ineffective programs that exist at many sites.
“The unfortunate reality is that flawed stop-work programs exist at many work sites, and this booklet will help to change that,” Conway said. “In addition, workers often face challenges, including retaliation, in their efforts to stop unhealthy or unsafe work.”
Debra Coyle, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council, the nation’s longest-standing state labor-environmental alliance, said that the guide can help protect workers and communities.
“By applying the guide’s lessons and winning stop work authority, unions can better protect both their members and communities from chemical fires, explosions, toxic releases, and other dangers,” Coyle said.
The guide provides model SWA collective bargaining language and checklists to help design the best SWA policies and procedures for industrial workplaces. Stop work authority is a mandatory subject of bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act.
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The 27-page publication can be found at www.usw.org/stopworkauthority. Users are free to print and distribute the publication for non-profit training and educational programs, providing they credit the United Steelworkers (USW).