National News Release USDL 02-99
Feb. 21, 2002
Contact: Daniel Morales
Phone: (202) 693-4650
Chao Announces Initiatives to Protect Hispanic Workers
Chao Takes Action To Promote Safety And Prosperity For Hispanic Workers
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced today a series of initiatives to ensure the safety and promote the prosperity of Hispanics in the workplace.
"The Labor Department is committed to protecting the well being of the over 14.5 million Hispanic workers in our country," Chao said. "Further, we want to help Hispanic workers climb the ladder of success and be an integral part of the American workforce."
Hispanics have a 14 percent fatality rate in the workplace yet they comprise 11 percent of the workforce. Noting this troubling statistic, Chao directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to form a task force to reach out and educate Hispanic workers and their families about health and safety on the job. She has also called on other Department agencies to make unprecedented efforts to increase workplace safety for Hispanics.
OSHA is making more information available to both Spanish-speaking employers and employees through a variety of tools, including publications, partnerships and training. John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, announced OSHA's new Spanish language website, which will be unveiled early next week. The site will not only serve workers, but also Hispanic employers, who represent America's largest group of minority business owners.
The Wage and Hour Administration is ensuring immigrant workers are informed of their rights through partnerships with community groups and the Mexican and Dominican Republic Consulates.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has outreach programs for Hispanic workers, especially migrant and seasonal farm workers. ETA is working with the National Council of La Raza and others to provide training for unemployed and unskilled workers.
For more information please visit www.dol.gov
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