Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Iowa Federation of Labor Joins Legal Fight Over State OSHA Protections

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The Iowa Federation of Labor joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa and a number of other unions and advocacy groups in filing a federal complaint against the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Nov. 13, asserting that regulators failed to protect people from COVID-19 outbreaks during the pandemic.

President Charlie Wishman (AFT) of the Iowa Federation of Labor said his labor federation joined the suit because there seems to be a lack of concern for the health and safety of working Iowans. 

“Iowa OSHA is supposed to protect workers, not corporations. Now with COVID-19, we’re seeing more of the same, but with a new and terrible twist,” Wishman said. “When Iowa workers are exposed to COVID-19, it doesn’t threaten just their health and the health of their co-workers. It also threatens the health of their families, their friends and everyone they come into contact with. Worker health is community health.”