Worker Engagement in the Health and Safety Regulatory Arena under Changing Models of Worker Representation

TitleWorker Engagement in the Health and Safety Regulatory Arena under Changing Models of Worker Representation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsDelp, Linda, and Riley, Kevin
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Volume40
Pagination54 - 83
Date Published2015///
Keywordshealth and safety, labor standards enforcement, low-wage workers, occupational safety and health regulations, worker advocacy, workplace, workplace hazards
Abstract

This paper examines the efforts of a labor-community-university partnership in Southern California to confront violations of workplace health and safety standards by employers of nonunion workers in low-wage jobs. A worker engagement model has opened avenues for workers and worker advocates to participate in the regulatory arena absent union representation. This approach has achieved notable successes to date, including groundbreaking Cal/OSHA citations and nascent collaboration with agency officials to target enforcement of health and safety standards. We argue this model constitutes the foundation needed to support a potentially viable form of tripartism that allows nonunion workers a voice, albeit limited, in the health and safety regulatory process.