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FDNY fire and rescue personnel lead a boat of ConEd power workers through flood waters after their power station was over fun by flood waters in New York, October 29, 2012. Nineteen workers were trapped inside a Consolidated Edison power station on the ea
Let's take another minute to think about, and thank, the first-responders who saved lives during Hurricane Sandy and all the workers who will be helping get life back to normal in its aftermath.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo:

The Hudson River was pouring into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel like a river at high velocity. The response of the first responders was as courageous as anything I’ve seen. They were running right into the face of danger. If it wasn’t for their heroism, things would have been much worse.
On the giant Breezy Point fire:
"If you and I were trying to walk in waist-deep water, it’s difficult — now picture doing that to fight a fire. It’s incredibly difficult," said Frank Dwyer, a spokesman for the city’s Fire Department. "Very high winds were creating blow-torch effects on the blocks, spreading the fire around."
New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver:
"I want to offer my deepest gratitude to all of the dedicated emergency responders who continue to work protecting residents throughout New Jersey,” Oliver said in a statement. “This has been a difficult storm, but their bravery and devotion helped ease our worries and continues to do so. Their courage never ceases to amaze.
But while acts of immediate valor in the moment of the storm are most likely to be recognized, there are weeks of unheralded, grinding work ahead for construction workers, garbage collectors, cleaners, engineers, transit workers, utility workers, and so many others.

A fair day's wage

  • But we're told that strengthening safety regulations for teen workers would be just terrible:
    Silos teeming with corn, wheat or soybeans become death traps when grain cascades out of control, asphyxiating or crushing their victims. Since 2007, 80 farmworkers have died in silo accidents; 14 of them were teenage boys.

    The deaths are horrific and virtually all preventable.

  • National Labor Relations Board Chair Mark Pearce: New Penalties Needed for Union-Busting of Undocumented Workers.
  • Commentators, most of whom are upper middle class, tend to think part-time work and "flexible" scheduling are good for workers. The reality is that they're
    part of the big squeeze:
    The widening use of part-timers has been a bane to many workers, pushing many into poverty and forcing some onto food stamps and Medicaid. And with work schedules that change week to week, workers can find it hard to arrange child care, attend college or hold a second job, according to interviews with more than 40 part-time workers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 02:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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