ANNUAL ALLIANCE REPORT
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Austin Area Office
The Mexican Consulate in Austin
September 21, 2016
August 31, 2015
This report covers the period between August 30, 2015 and August 30, 2016.
To provide outreach to Mexican Nationals in Central Texas of their rights under OSHA and to foster cooperation and to further the dialogue on safety and health.
Implementation Team Members
- R. Casey Perkins
- Area Director, Austin Area OSHA Office
- Joann Natarajan
- Compliance Assistance Specialist, Austin Area OSHA Office
The Mexican Consulate
- Blanca Gaviño Arvizo
- Protection Department
- Jonathan Hernandez
- Protection Department
Implementation Team Meetings
Alliance meetings (in person or by phone) were held on September 4, 2015, March 16, 2016, and July 7, 2016.
Activities, Events and Products
- Training and Education: OSHA has assisted the Consulate in finding low cost and free OSHA 10 hour construction safety classes offered by the Texas Department of Insurance and the Workers Defense Project. A training session was also provided to Consulate staff on OSHA complaint intake during Labor Rights Week.
- Outreach and Communication: OSHA participated in exhibit table events at the Mexican Consulate to distribute worker's rights information to Mexican Nationals visiting the Consulate. OSHA, the Mexican Consulate, and another alliance partner, the Workers Defense Project, have joined together to assist Mexican workers needing assistance with unsafe jobsite conditions, and injured workers whose employers refuse to pay for their medical bills. One of the main outreach events planned with the Consulate is Labor Rights Week. The Consulate also participated in the Worker Memorial Day event planned and hosted by the Worker's Defense Project in April 2016.
- Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: OSHA added the Consulate contacts to her email distribution lists on free and low cost safety classes, and other local safety events.
- Training and Education: OSHA has provided approximately 500 pamphlets for Labor Rights Week distribution bags that were handed out at seven events during Labor Rights Week. The Consulate also retained 500 All About OSHA pamphlets for distribution at the Consulate. Approximately 600 Hispanic workers were reached through exhibit tables at the Consulate.
- Outreach and Communication: Labor Rights Week events were spearheaded by the Consulate. Participants included governmental and nonprofit organizations, with four additional groups participating this year over last year's events. There were a total number of eight events in 2016, versus four that took place in 2015. The groups participating in Labor Rights Week included Wage & Hour, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Catholic Charities, Equal Justice Center, Austin Police Department, Refugee Services of Texas, and EEOC, in addition to the Consulate and OSHA. A total of 500 bags of information were distributed at events across Austin, containing information on labor rights, legal rights, and human trafficking. The events during Labor Rights Week included distribution of informational bags at two La Michocana markets on two evenings to contact workers after work, distribution of info bags at the day labor center and at a construction worker parking area in the mornings, and distribution of bags at the Consulate. As part of Labor Rights Week, a phone bank on worker rights was held at local Spanish TV station Univision in Austin to do intake on various worker's rights issues such as wage theft and discrimination. OSHA, EEOC, and Wage & Hour also provided training to all the groups participating in Labor Rights Week on the information needed to make a referral to OSHA, EEOC, or Wage & Hour.
- Promoting the National Dialogue on Safety and Health: The alliance has opened the door of communication with immigrant Spanish workers in the Austin and nationally, so that they can exercise their right to a safe and healthy workplace.
The alliance has raised the Agency’s profile with hard to reach immigrant Spanish speaking workers in the Austin area through a multi-pronged approach.
Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals Reached or Trained Spanish OSHA publications provided
The alliance provides a conduit for Hispanic workers to exercise their OSHA workplace rights. The OSHA CAS has been the main contact for questions from Consular staff. The alliance was last renewed on August 31, 2015 for another 2 years.
Report Prepared by: Joann Natarajan, Compliance Assistance Specialist, Austin Area OSHA Office