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July 7, 2017 – President Donald Trump’s Department of Labor has proposed a $10.5 million budget cut that would score a direct hit on one of the State Building and Construction Trades Council’s key job safety programs.

The proposal is currently sitting in the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. If the cut goes through, it would take out federal funding for OSHA’s Susan Harwood Grants Program beginning in fiscal year 2018.

Since 2000, SBCTC has received Susan Harwood grants to provide high-quality “train-the- trainer” classes, hazard awareness seminars, and safety training curricula to affiliated trades, apprenticeship programs and contractors. We believe these years of training have undoubtedly saved construction worker lives in California.

Many hazardous pollutants such as asbestos, silica, lead and other heavy metals are transferred by workers to their homes exposing their children and extended families to deadly toxins that can cause lifetime illnesses and even death.  The cost of not protecting workers and their families nationwide could well be in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year with lost work productivity, medical treatments and in many cases, lifetime disability payments. 

Cutting this relatively low-cost program from OSHA’s budget is a blow to unions, workers' rights advocates, non-profit worker organizations, educational institutions and working people across the nation.

The SBCTC has sent letters (see attached) to our California Senators and key members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee.  We urge you to take the following actions now:

Send letters (similar to the SBCTC letter attached)  to committee chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) to encourage them not to cut this vital program.  Explain how the Susan Harwood Program has been valuable to your members.

Contact our California Senators to ask for their support for OSHA’s Susan Harwood program.

Sign the online petition put together by Interfaith Worker Justice at:     


Senator Dianne Feinstein

331 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-3841

Senator Roy Blunt

260 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-5721

Senator Kamala Harris

112 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-3553

Senator Patty Murray

154 Russell Senator Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: (202) 224-2621


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