Topics: News, Press

Governor Signs Essential Legislation to Keep Workers Safe on the Job

SB 606 gives Cal/OSHA necessary tools to hold large employers accountable for workplace safety

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Western States Council, applauded Governor Gavin Newsom for signing SB 606 (Gonzalez) into law. SB 606 will give the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) the necessary tools to hold large employers accountable for workplace health and safety violations. The following statement may be attributed to Andrea Zinder, President, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 324:

“We’ve seen just how rapidly COVID-19 infections spread in California’s workplaces and how workers paid the price for these outbreaks with their health and lives. As the pandemic continues to put workers at risk with the rise of the delta variant, it is imperative that California continue to prioritize workplace safety and ensure Cal/OSHA has the resources it needs to enforce workplace safety laws. We’re proud that Governor Newsom stood with workers today to ensure their health and wellbeing isn’t put at risk when they clock into work. We especially want to thank Senator Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) for her leadership in authoring this bill.”

A study by the University of California at San Francisco shows the unspeakable price essential workers have paid for the failure of companies to keep their workers safe at their worksite during the COVID-19 pandemic. Food and agricultural workers faced the greatest risk of contracting COVID-19, with a 39% increase in death rates during this pandemic, followed by transportation and logistic workers, facilities workers, and manufacturing workers. These jobs are typically held by lower-income workers of color who don’t have the choice of working from home and are often forced to work in close proximity to their co-workers.

The California Labor Federation and Worksafe are co-sponsors of SB 606 along with UFCW Western States Council.

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September 27, 2021

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]