HIGHTOWER: Corporate Murder

Are you dying to get to work today?Well, be careful once you're there, because work is a dangerous place to be -- so dangerous that more than 6,000 of us die each year from explosions, cave-ins, electrocution, and other nasties on the job. On top of that, sixty thousand more of us die each year from cancer and other diseases we get from the work we do. Six million more of us are injured each year, making the American workplace by far the most dangerous in the industrialized world.Why is that?Because corporate executives do a cold, bottom-line calculation in which they figure it's much cheaper to pay a few fines and some occasional death benefits for killing or maiming thousands of people each year than it is to install the systems, technologies, and procedures that actually would prevent these deaths and injuries. These same executives also use their financial and lobbying clout in Congress to kill the kind of safety legislation that would bring the American workplace up to a civilized standard.A current example is the effort by the National Association of Convenience Stores to stop OSHA from issuing guidelines that would protect night clerks. About 500 retail clerks a year are killed in robberies, making it one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Yet this corporate lobbying group is fighting such basic protections as using drop safes, bulletproof glass, good lighting, security cameras and putting two clerks on dangerous shifts. Night clerks are mostly low-income people with no political power though so, what the hell -- they're viewed as expendable, not even worth the cost of some bulletproof glass.This is Jim Hightower saying ... A system that allows corporations to profit by shoving the gruesome price of an unsafe workplace onto workers and their families is not just a dangerous system -- it's immoral. Let's be honest about what's going on here -- many of these on-the-job deaths are not "accidental" -- they're murder.

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