Workers, unions and advocates rally to protect Workers’ Compensation
On Wednesday, October 18th, workers, labor representatives, attorneys and health and safety advocates held a rally outside of the Buffalo Workers’ Compensation Board to protest proposed changes to workers’ compensation in New York State. The changes would eliminate coverage for large categories of injuries and give employers more control over the medical decisions their employees make. The Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH), the Buffalo Central Labor Council, and the WNY Area Labor Federation, along with other safety and health advocates throughout the state oppose the changes. Speakers from the labor community, as well workers who have used the workers’ compensation system spoke about the importance of workers’ compensation and the dangers of eliminating coverage and changing the rules for employers.
John Mudie, President of the Buffalo Central Labor Council said “Not one advocate for working men and women had a seat at the table. These changes…do not support workers. They are another way of giving big business another break.”
Denise Abbott, CWA 1168 Health and Safety Director and WNYCOSH Board President said “We have given up certain rights, including the right to sue your employer for a workplace injury, with assurances that injured workers would get compensated when they are hurt at work. The new proposals that the Workers’ Compensation Board are pushing forward will decimate those hard fought rights.”