Letter to the Editor: Bad idea
BY Ricky Burris, Tulsa
Thursday, March 07, 2013
3/07/13 at 8:11 AM
The workers compensation reform under consideration in the Oklahoma Legislature is bad for workers and bad for our state. The Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, big business and the GOP are excited about this bill and when that group agrees on anything it spells bad news for blue-collar Oklahomans.
The workers compensation legislation being debated at the Capitol will make it easier for employers to opt out of the workers compensation system, move workers' injury cases to an administrative system run by political appointees, and award less in damages and disability claims.
The proposed reforms do nothing to curb spiraling medical costs, but instead find all the savings in taking money from injured workers - many of whom are the grocery store and food production workers we represent in Muskogee.
We agree that fraud and abuse need to be stamped out, but this legislation targets a fundamental worker protection without doing anything to guarantee these workers a fair hearing and fair recompense for an injury on the job.
We urge Gov. Mary Fallin to veto the legislation and stand with Oklahoma's blue-collar men and women.
Editor's note: Burris is president of UFCW Local 1000. This letter was submitted by Communications Director Anthony Elmo.
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