3 comments to “Labor Activist Who Chose to Work Within the System Is Outsider Once More, and Again Crusading for Job Safety”

  1. Larry Rose M.D., M.P.H.

    I was the senior public health medical officer at Cal-OSHA for 28 years. Now retired. I did work with Garrett on several investigations. Garrett was always very thorough and effective in his investigations.
    There are a variety of ways Cal-OSHA has moved in the direction of a weak enforcement workplace health and safety agency toward an extremely supportive friendly corporate/business agency. The California Labor Code and the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), written regulations should be the basis for a very effective health and safety workplace in all California businesses. The destruction of the effectiveness of the enforcement can be traced to the domination of the California administrative and legislative functions by corporate money. Looking back at when I first went to work for Cal-OSHA in the first Brown administration and now what is left of Cal-OSHA enforcement effectiveness in Brown’s second administration is striking and appalling.
    Underfunding, extremely sparse enforcement personnel, the director of DIR controlling and riding herd over all enforcement actions with a pro-business ideology, all combine to destroy effective Cal/OSHA health and safety enforcement. The appointment of Christine Baker to be the Director of DIR by Jerry Brown is an assault on worker health and safety rights in California. One can only why is is organized labor in California so silent on the basic labor workplace right?

  2. Nick Gleiter

    As Garrett’s manager for a number of years I can say his only problem with management is a deserved sense of righteousness. He didn’t work for me or the Chief, he works for the California worker. He was my best investigator before he became Special Assistant to the Chief. So when he complained that DOSH had at least $20 million to hire more inspectors, but DIR would not release the funds, am I to believe he was wrong in this one case? He would encourage, just look at the numbers.

    As a former Enforcement manager I can say that managers and compliance officers are stretched thin. This situation will become more and more evident as employers cut more corners (because they know the likelihood of inspection are so low), and serious injuries and fatalities will rise as recently demonstrated in 2012 in the construction industry.

  3. Craig Merrilees

    Thank you for this excellent report about the sad state of affairs at Cal/OSHA and the efforts by Garett Brown and Ellen Widess to challenge those in state government who apparently prefer to coddle business interests instead of aggressively protecting workers.

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