As a labor union, we support causes that will improve the quality of life for all working people.

The inhalation of silica particles has long been known to cause lung cancer and silicosis, a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease. An estimated 1.7 million workers are exposed to silica dust each year. Our brothers and sisters who are employees of shipyards and in the construction industry are especially vulnerable.

The legal limit on how much silica workers can inhale was set decades ago, and is not low enough to protect workers from an increased risk of silicosis and lung cancer.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has drafted a proposal that would reduce exposure to silica on the job, but the proposal has been sitting at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for the past two years.

Watch fellow union member Tom Ward’s heartbreaking testimony before members of the United States Senate on how silica affected his family. Ward, a mason in Michigan, watched his father battle silicosis for five years before he finally succumbed to the disease.

We would like to encourage you to sign this petition to urge the White House to act on this very important issue. Tell the White House to put job safety standards in place to protect workers.

Sign the petition and follow these steps:

•    If this is your first time signing a petition to the White House on the We the People website, click on the “Create an Account” button.
•    After you create an account, you’ll get an email from asking you to verify your account. Click on the link in that email (give it a second if it doesn’t come right away).
•    After you click on the link, you’ll be able to sign the petition by clicking the green “Sign This Petition” button under where it shows how many people have signed.

OSHA was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 and its mission is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.