BlueCollarWriter Labor News Update


Labor News Update - 09/11/2023

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Labor History in 2:00

September 11 - The World Trade Center Health ProgramOn this day in labor history, the year was 2001. We pause to remember those who died in the 9/11 attacks. Of those killed, nearly a quarter were union people. Hundreds of firefighters were lost.  Dozens of building trades people, including carpenters and electricians were also killed.  And many other unions lost members as well, including the AFT, SEIU, UNITE-HERE, CWA, and AFSCME.  Those lost that day will remains firmly forever in our memories.  What is less well known is the number of those first responders who are suffering from chronic and fatal diseases related to 9/11 or those who have already died.  It is estimated that over 400,000 people were exposed to World Trade Center contaminants.  These include more than 70 carcinogens and other hazardous substances.  Of those exposed, over 91,000 were first responders.  As of June 2017, over 67,000 first responders and over 12,000 survivors had registered in the World Trade Center Health Program run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The program provides medical monitoring, health evaluations and treatment for those who qualify.  Of those registered responders still alive, more than 45,000 suffer from certified conditions as defined by the Zadroga Act of 2010.  And for registered survivors, nearly 10,000 suffer from certified conditions.  Close to 700 registered first responders have already died from certified conditions.  However, this number is considered a low estimate, given there were many who died before the program was established.  There are also a number of illnesses believed related to the attacks but not yet certified. If you are a survivor or were a 9/11 First Responder and would like to enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program, please visit or call toll free 1-888-982-4748.
September 11 - The Christiana RiotOn this day in Labor History the year was 1851.     That was the day that a Maryland planter named Edward Gorsuch was killed in Christiana, Pennsylvania.     Gorsuch had come to Pennsylvania to try and recapture three black men that had escaped from slavery on his farm outside of Baltimore two years earlier.     A year after the men escaped, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act.     This penalized helping those who had escaped slavery, with a $1,000 fine and up to six months’ jail time.     Emboldened by the law, slave catchers chased those who had made the journey to freedom in the north.    Gorsuch received news that the men he was looking for were in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.     Two of the escaped slaves were at the farm of William Parker, a black man who had also escaped slavery in Maryland.     Located just north of the Mason-Dixon line, Lancaster had a well-established underground railroad network.     An armed black self-defense group had developed to stand against the slave catchers.     Gorsuch and his son gathered a group of men and headed north.     At the Parker farm they were confronted by a group of at least fifty black men armed with guns and pitchforks.     Gorsuch refused to leave, and a gun battle erupted.     Gorsuch was shot and killed in the exchange of fire.     Parker, his family, and the three formerly enslaved men fled to Canada.     Thirty-eight others who were there that day were charged with treason for taking part in the confrontation.    This included Castner Hanway a white man who had tried to defuse the standoff.    None of the charged were ever convicted.     In the south, slave owners were outraged that no one was punished.     Tensions between the North and South sharpened.     As a result, the country moved closer to Civil War, the bloody conflict that finally ended slave labor.

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