Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council Fights for Workplace Safety Enforcement

Billy Lycus
Tennessee AFL-CIO

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 those stories every day. Here's today's story.

Too many front-line workers across the country are working in fear for their health and safety. As the federal government fails to intervene by mandating safety and health guidelines, many states are not acting, either. Despite hundreds of complaints to the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the state agency has no legally binding safety standards related to COVID-19, and therefore cannot issue citations when employers fail to protect their workers from infection. Tennessee AFL-CIO Labor Council President Billy Dycus (USW) told the Tennessean, “Probably one of the best things they could have done is [gotten] ahead of it when this started and started looking at implementing some workplace safety standards that would have given employers guidelines and allowed them to have some more enforceable rules.”