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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure build-up a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

MN Warehouse Workers: Unsafe at Any Speed?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023   

Consumer demand for delivery companies like Amazon is not going away. But some people in Minnesota want more protections for workers filling orders on tight deadlines. The National Employment Law Project has reported the injury rate for Amazon warehouse workers in Minnesota is nearly two times greater than those working at similar facilities for other industries.

Khali Jama, an Amazon Fulfilment Center employee recently testified before a Minnesota House committee of a demanding environment that gives employees little room to work at a safe pace.

"Most of the injuries come from the speed - if you're not on a certain speed, the manager will come and talk to you. If you're still not on that speed that they want you to be, they'll come and talk to the second time," Jama said. "The third time you get [a] write-up and you're fired through an app."

Jama added English is not the primary language for many workers who may not be aware of their rights. The committee passed a bill setting safety requirements for warehouses, including preventing production quotas that interfere with meal and bathroom breaks. Over the past year, Amazon has acknowledged these concerns but insists most workers express satisfaction with jobs that offer competitive starting pay and health benefits.

Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, said it's clear Amazon is not doing enough to protect its warehouse employees, but questioned whether legislation is needed.

"It's been over a year now since we've heard this bill," McDonald said. "The same concerns from those who are treated not very respectfully at one particular company when this particular bill could really affect hundreds of companies that are treating their employees like human beings."

He suggested a current law still allows key agencies to crack down on violators. But bill sponsors have said OSHA standards dealing with specific industries have not been updated in 15 years. They added the bill would give the Department of Labor Industry power to investigate violators. Scrutiny would center on warehouses that have an injury rate 30% higher than the industry average.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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