Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, the AFL-CIO Releases Its Annual Report: Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, affecting more than 7.4 million Americans, with more than 210,000 deaths in the United States, the national AFL-CIO released its annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect report today. In New Jersey, 83 fatalities and 74,400 occupational illnesses and injuries were reported in 2018, the most recent data available.

Those 2018 numbers are pre-pandemic, national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka noted as he described the current health crisis as a product of the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks, weakened regulations and resource cuts to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  

“This report shows the tremendous neglect by the Trump administration, since day one in office, to ensure that working people are safe on the job,” Trumka said. “For nearly four years, President Trump has downplayed the role of safety agencies tasked with protecting workers and let corporate profit, rather than science, influence the protections we need to keep us safe from this disastrous pandemic.

“Now hardworking families are paying the price,” Trumka said. “We all deserve the best protections available. It is time to change course. Our lives and the future of the country depend on it.”

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