Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Sheriff in Town

This didn't get enough attention yesterday. For all the griping about how we aren't seeing any change in an Obama administration, it's not exactly true. For example, take Hilda Solis:
Soon after she became the nation's labor secretary, Hilda Solis warned corporate America there was "a new sheriff in town." Less than a year into her tenure, that figurative badge of authority is unmistakable.

Her aggressive moves to boost enforcement and crack down on businesses that violate workplace safety rules have sent employers scrambling to make sure they are following the rules.

Solis made a splash in October when OSHA slapped the largest fine in its history on oil giant BP PLC for failing to fix safety problems after a 2005 explosion at its Texas City refinery.

Garnering less attention, she just finished hiring 250 new investigators to protect workers from being cheated out of wage and overtime pay. She also started a new program that scrutinizes business records to make sure worker injury and illness reports are accurate. And she is proposing new standards to protect workers from industrial dust explosions — an effort the Bush administration had long resisted.
This is a vast difference from the Bush administration's "compliance assistance" approach, which loosely translated means turn a blind eye to violations and hope industry polices itself. It's not making the big business groups happy.
"Our members are concerned that the department is shifting its focus from compliance assistance back to more of the 'gotcha' or aggressive enforcement first approach," said Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business' small business legal center.
Seems to me this is exactly the sort of change we badly needed. This is why, for all their failings, we elected Democrats to a majority. [via ql]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Anonymous Larkspur said...

You're right. Every day I see something in the news that indicates that another little bit of BushCheneyism is getting dismantled. I'd never tell anyone to shut up with the criticizing - never - but I have to report that I am pleased to see that some people are trying to get this thing back on track. It reminds me of how touched I was last year at Hillary Clinton's first appearance at the State Department. People were crowding the stairs and leaning out from the balconies to cheer and applaud. And since she hadn't had a chance to do anything yet, it was all about relief and optimism.

2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Larkspur. So glad to see you. Happy New Year.

I agree. My New Year's resolution is to look for the good. I've been forgetting to do that and it sure beats getting angry at the bad all the time.

7:20:00 PM  
Blogger JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

It is relieving to have a Labor Secretary that is pro Labor for a change.

10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Isn't it nice Truth? These are the little things that people seem to be overlooking when they get so pissed at Obama.

10:21:00 AM  

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