» Bucking the trend: 2011 hasn’t been a great year for worker’s rights; for further information on this, Google “Scott Walker.” However, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy reversed the tide this week, signing a bill that grants all employees, public and private, one hour of mandatory paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. This is the first real political victory workers have enjoyed all year, at least at the state level; in addition, Connecticut is the first state in the nation to pass such a law. The only thing proponents of the law didn’t get? A signing ceremony for the bill. (Note: the law only applies to companies with more than 50 employees).
Examining doctor Takeshi Tanigawa says the workers could risk death. The doctor, who checked the beleaguered workers recently, has said the personal responsibility they feel to halt the crisis, along with terrible sanitation, little food, little sleep, and pressure from their families not to continue is causing extreme levels of stress, and could lead to depression or death from overwork. That’s all without mentioning the high level of radiation, which is extremely deleterious to health on its own. Tanigawa says TEPCO should mobilize all their employees and give these most dedicated workers a break: “Employees engaged in the dangerous work have human rights and wives and children just like others. We should not treat their lives without due respect.” source
“How can I go into the street and protest? I can barely survive.” While some go out to protest in Egypt, others stay at work. They have to. They can’t afford to stop working. The L.A. Times notes the disparity that’s keeping some away from the protests changing the character of the 80-million-strong nation, in a pretty fascinating piece about a guy named Milad Zari, a baker who’s still at work because he makes a paltry $90 a month working 14-hour days. Zari’s been at work in his position for two decades, not asking questions about his future. And so are a lot of others. Many don’t have the luxury to protest and are stuck making bread instead. Remember that the people protesting are giving up a lot to be out there, and for every person protesting, there are numerous others like Zari, who simply can’t. source