TCA: Haslam Workers Comp Proposal Creates ‘Disposable Workforce’

Press release from Tennessee Citizen Action; March 26, 2013:

Nashville, Tenn. (March 26, 2013) – Today at a rally in front of the state capitol, Tennessee Citizen Action, the AFL-CIO of Tennessee, the Jackson Central Labor Council, the Memphis AFL-CIO Labor Council, the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle-Tennessee, along with various other local unions, community organizations, and workers who have been injured on the job called on Governor Bill Haslam to stop his proposed changes that will gut workers’ compensation. The bill, which is part of the Governor’s legislative package, will leave hardworking men and women with less to take care of their families when they are injured on the job and remove incentives for employers to keep injured workers healthy and on the job.

The proposed changes to workers’ comp will not only cut insurance payouts to workers when they are injured on the job, but also will create a new bureaucracy completely controlled by the Governor and remove workers’ comp cases from impartial court system. Worst of all, it will allow employers to “throwaway” Injured employees.

“This legislative majority is no friend to working people,” said Jerry Winters of the AFL-CIO of Tennessee, “The blatant attacks on worker’s compensation, living wages, unemployment insurance, and retirement benefits are aimed right at the very people who keep Tennessee’s economy moving. It is time for workers to stand up and say enough is enough!”

As they consider Governor Haslam’s changes to workers’ compensation, the legislative majority have a choice to make: they can either do the bidding of the Governor and side with special interests like big insurance companies or they can fight to protect the hardworking Tennesseans who elected them.

“So far we have packed several legislative hearing rooms on Capitol Hill to make sure lawmakers know Governor Haslam’s proposed changes to workers’ comp will hurt hardworking Tennesseans and their families,” said Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, “Since they are not paying attention, now it’s time to deliver the message directly to Governor Haslam.”

Tennessee Citizen Action works in the public interest as Tennessee’s premier consumer rights organization.