slide1 l.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Firefighters Unions & Presumptive Disability: Common Interests, Mutual Advantage, & Future Alliance Opportunities PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Firefighters Unions & Presumptive Disability: Common Interests, Mutual Advantage, & Future Alliance Opportunities

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 45

Firefighters Unions & Presumptive Disability: Common Interests, Mutual Advantage, & Future Alliance Opportunities - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 183 Views
  • Uploaded on

Firefighters Unions & Presumptive Disability: Common Interests, Mutual Advantage, & Future Alliance Opportunities. Graham Kelder National Conference on Tobacco or Health May 6, 2005. Theoretical Framework:.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Firefighters Unions & Presumptive Disability: Common Interests, Mutual Advantage, & Future Alliance Opportunities' - johana


Download Now An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
slide1

Firefighters Unions & Presumptive Disability:Common Interests, Mutual Advantage, & Future Alliance Opportunities

Graham Kelder

National Conference on Tobacco or Health

May 6, 2005

theoretical framework
Theoretical Framework:
  • Political coalitions are created and sustained when they help member organizations overcome institutional barriers to policy enactment.

(Hula, 1999)

  • Most tobacco control coalitions rely on the shared goal commitment of members as the basis for forming coalitions.
framework cont d
Framework (cont’d)
  • The tobacco industry uses a more sophisticated coalition-formation model
  • The tobacco industry builds coalitions around
    • Common interests or mutual advantages to coalition members
    • Framing issues to highlight common interests or mutual advantages
framework cont d4
Framework (cont’d)
  • Tobacco control advocates can greatly strengthen their coalition-building abilities by adopting the more sophisticated approach used by the tobacco industry.
  • They, too, can learn to build coalitions around
    • Common interests or mutual advantages to coalition members
    • Framing issues to highlight common interests or mutual advantages
slide5
Coalition-Building Case Study: Firefighters Unions, the Tobacco Industry, Presumptive Disability, and 24-Hour Smoking Bans
what is presumptive disability
What is Presumptive Disability?
  • Firefighters are exposed on a daily basis to stress, smoke, heat, and various toxic substances.
    • As a result, firefighters are far more likely to contract heart disease, lung disease and cancer than other workers.
    • Heart disease, lung disease and cancer are now among the leading causes of death and disability for firefighters.
presumptive disability cont d
Presumptive Disability (cont’d)
  • In recognition of this linkage, many states have enacted “presumptive disability” laws.
    • These laws state that cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers are presumed to be job-related for purposes of workers compensation and disability retirement unless the firefighter’s employer can prove otherwise.
presumptive disability cont d8
Presumptive Disability (cont’d)
  • Such presumptive disability laws were passed in 34 states in 1972-73, and in many other states subsequent to this period of time.
  • Firefighters unions pushed hard for these laws.
presumptive disability cont d9
Presumptive Disability (cont’d)
  • Any problems with presumptive disability from the standpoint of the town, city, and state entities that have to pay for the larger disability pensions that result?
presumptive disability cont d10
Presumptive Disability (cont’d)
  • Presumptive disability can be expensive, especially if you don’t control for exacerbating factors such as smoking.
  • So, beginning in 1979, many towns, cities, and states began to pass 24-hour smoking bans that prohibited firefighters (or, at the very least, new hires) from smoking on or off the job
tobacco industry reaction
Tobacco Industry Reaction
  • The tobacco industry was predictably opposed to these bans, because the industry knew that even lenient smoking restrictions could cost the tobacco industry hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue each year. (521040556/0563)
firefighters unions 24 hour smoking bans
Firefighters’ Unions & 24-Hour Smoking Bans
  • Where did this issue play itself out?
  • How do you think firefighters’ unions reacted to the imposition of these 24-hour smoking bans?
union activity occurs at many levels
Union Activity Occurs at Many Levels
  • These are both sort of trick questions.
  • Lesson #1 in working with unions is that union activity takes place at many different levels:
    • International
    • National
    • Statewide
    • Local
union activity at many levels cont d
Union Activity at Many Levels (cont’d)
  • This is something the tobacco industry learned early on
  • In February 1984, a tobacco industry consultant told his colleagues, “It’s fine to know a Lane Kirkland…but local issues require local union assistance. A local union official can be of great assistance if approached correctly.”
union activity at many levels cont d15
Union Activity at Many Levels (cont’d)
  • The issue of 24-hour smoking bans played out at many levels:
    • State
    • Local
  • Not just in unions but in organizations like
    • State AFL-CIOs
    • COSH groups
union activity at many levels cont d16
Union Activity at Many Levels (cont’d)
  • The tobacco industry knows the multiple levels on which unions can be approached.
  • Tobacco control advocates need to know this, too  Labor 101 paper – “How to Work with Labor” – on OLTCN web site at www.laborandtobacco.org
labor not monolithic
Labor Not Monolithic
  • Lesson #2 in working with unions is that organized labor and the unions that make up the organized labor movement are not monolithic.
  • Again, our friends in the tobacco industry know this:
labor not monolithic cont d
Labor Not Monolithic (cont’d)
  • At a 1983 training session for Tobacco Institute personnel on working with unions, another industry consultant, stated: “…[T]the labor movement is not a monolith but is comprised of unions and individuals representing a broad spectrum of political, economic, and social views.”
labor not monolithic cont d19
Labor Not Monolithic (cont’d)
  • There is no “labor” position on any tobacco control issue.
  • There are only the positions of the state, local, and national unions and other organizations that comprise the organized labor movement.
labor not monolithic20
Labor Not Monolithic
  • The reaction of various state and local firefighters’ unions to the issue of 24-hour smoking bans varied greatly – for example:
    • ’79 Virginia: union opposed because rule intrusive into off-duty life
labor not monolithic cont d21
Labor Not Monolithic (cont’d)
  • ’81 San Francisco: union insisted on its right to bargain on this issue
  • ’87 Los Angeles: union supported ban because it viewed it as a “health and safety” issue
  • ’87 Chicago: union supported of ban
  • ’89 Maryland: union saw ban as “invasion of privacy”
know your union allies interests and concerns
Know Your Union Allies’ Interests and Concerns
  • The only way to effectively partner with a union is by becoming familiar with the concerns and issues – both tobacco and non-tobacco -- that particular union considers important.
  • The tobacco industry has become quite adept at educating itself about the needs and interests of potential union allies.
know your allies cont d
Know Your Allies (cont’d)
  • As one industry consultant put it in 1982, “[We] must reach out to…labor-oriented groups and engage in meaningful vote-trading….
  • …it is important for [us] to assist some of these potential allies on votes that are of no concern to [us], but are of vital importance to these other groups.”
slide24
What are some traditional union interests and concerns that might come into play on the issue of 24-hour smoking bans?
unions want to be involved in decision making
Unions Want to Be Involved in Decision-making
  • Most unions object to unilateral decision-making by management over employee worksites.
    • This is not unexpected
    • The whole point of organizing in the first place is to give workers a voice in their work life and to prevent such unilateral decision-making by management
decision making cont d
Decision-making (cont’d)
  • Most 24-hour smoking bans were being unilaterally imposed by management.
  • Some unions were not opposed to 24-hour bans per se, but to this unilateral imposition of them.
  • Involving the union is especially important when it comes to health promotion issues. Why?
health promotion issues can be a dodge for workplace safety issues
Health Promotion Issues Can Be a Dodge for Workplace Safety Issues
  • When faced with workplace safety issues, employers sometimes seek to blame employee ill health not on workplace toxins or dangers, but on some other substance.
  • Employers look for some other “promotable villain.” (Bowker, 2003)
dodging workplace safety issues cont d
Dodging Workplace Safety Issues (cont’d)
  • For example, it is almost a tradition for American presidents, when facing dropping poll numbers due to poor domestic or economic performance, to find a “promotable villain” in a foreign tyrant who needs a good thrashing.
dodging workplace safety issues cont d29
Dodging Workplace Safety Issues (cont’d)
  • In the 1970s, John-Mansville tried to deflect attention from the workplace hazard posed by asbestos by holding up cigarettes as a “promotable villain.”
  • It’s not good old asbestos that’s giving you lung cancer, it’s cigarettes. (C’mon, asbestos is good for you! Put some fiber in your diet!)
dodging workplace safety issues cont d30
Dodging Workplace Safety Issues (cont’d)
  • Due to management’s use of health promotion as a way to dodge workplace safety issues, some unions may be suspicious of health promotion activities like curbing tobacco use.
privacy issues cont d
Privacy Issues (cont’d)
  • Unions are also afraid of “the slippery slope” when it comes to workplace rules that intrude on the lives of their members outside of work.
  • Blue-collar workers are understandably sensitive to loss of control over their private lives.
privacy issues cont d32
Privacy Issues (cont’d)
  • What follows from 24-hour smoking bans?
    • Bans on eating red meat?
    • Bans on riding motorcycles?
    • Bans on playing certain kinds of sports?
privacy issues cont d33
Privacy Issues (cont’d)
  • The tobacco industry played on these traditional union concerns about privacy and discrimination in trying to secure union opposition to 24-hour smoking bans.
6 29 82 memo from covington burling to tobacco institute timn 356952 6964
6/29/82 Memo from Covington & Burling to Tobacco Institute (TIMN_356952/6964)
  • Question posed by TI: whether private employer policies against employing people who smoke (even if they do not smoke on the job) may be successfully challenged as violations of federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.
82 memo from covington burling cont d timn 356952 6964
‘82 Memo from Covington & Burling (cont’d) (TIMN_356952/6964)
  • Answer: “…[N]o federal statute or judicial or administrative authority appears to prohibit anti-smoker policies per se, and it is unlikely that any court or administrative agency would make such a ruling.”
smoker anti discrimination legislation
Smoker Anti-discrimination Legislation
  • Since there was no cognizable federal claim, the tobacco industry waged a campaign against 24-hour smoking bans by pushing smoker anti-discrimination and privacy legislation in many state legislatures
  • They sought to enlist firefighters’ unions in this effort by the way they framed the issue.
1992 tobacco institute memo tims00024543 4544
1992 Tobacco Institute Memo (TIMS00024543/4544)
  • "Employment policies that discriminate against smokers are…a clear violation of personal privacy."
1992 memo cont d tims00024543 4544
1992 Memo (cont’d) (TIMS00024543/4544)
  • "Policies that allow an employer to discharge an individual for because he or she smokes or has an occasional drink during time away from the job open the door to measures that may have a chilling effect on other protected employee activities. Blue collar workers in particular are vulnerable to seemingly neutral
1992 memo cont d tims00024543 454439
1992 Memo (cont’d) (TIMS00024543/4544)
  • discriminatory policies that may be used selectively as those viewed as "troublesome" by employers. Workers who engage in otherwise protected activities such as political advocacy or union participation, could easily be disciplined or discharged under the pretext of anti-smoker policies."
1992 memo cont d tims00024543 454440
1992 Memo (cont’d) (TIMS00024543/4544)
  • Discrimination – particularly when a product of unilateral action by an employer – undermines basic employee and collective bargaining rights."
lessons learned
Lessons learned:
  • Shared goal commitment not essential to coalition-formation
  • Coalitions can be formed around
    • Common interests or mutual advantages to coalition members
    • Framing issues to highlight common interests or mutual advantages
lessons learned cont
Lessons learned (cont.):
  • Union activity takes place at many different levels:
    • International
    • National
    • Statewide
    • Local
  • Choose the correct level of activity in forging alliances.
lessons learned cont43
Lessons learned (cont.):
  • Organized labor and the unions that make up the organized labor movement are not monolithic.
    • There is no “labor” position on any tobacco control issue.
    • There are only the positions of state, local, and national unions and other labor organizations on particular tobacco control issues.
lessons learned cont44
Lessons learned (cont.):
  • The only way to effectively partner with a union is by becoming familiar with the concerns and issues – tobacco and non-tobacco – that particular union considers important.
  • Integrate health promotion with workplace safety.
  • Be aware of traditional union concerns about power, participation in decision-making, and privacy.
visit our website
Visit Our Website

www.laborandtobacco.org