Union Education and Advocacy


Union Education and Advocacy


New York is a union town. A quarter of all workers in the city, 24.6 percent, belong to a union. New York State is the same, with 24.9 percent of workers unionized, more than double the national rate. Among public sector workers in the state, the proportion is far higher - 71.2 percent are in unions.

Workers’ safety and health is directly tied to a strong labor movement. Union members have job protection that allows them to speak up about safety and health violations in the workplace. Unions also provide their members information and training on health and safety beyond what the employer offers. Unions can negotiate for stronger health and safety protections in contracts.

Employers are responding to the nation’s economic crisis by attacking safety and health regulations for which the labor movement has fought for decades. Protecting and extending rights to safe and healthful workplaces requires building a strong coalition to fight for this core element of labor’s agenda.

NYCOSH works to protect and extend labor unions’ rights to ensure safe and healthful workplaces for their members. We help to build coalitions among unions and labor-related organizations to press for worker protections against injury and illness. NYCOSH provides training and technical assistance to its member unions and distributes information on new developments in the field of worker safety and health.

Recent NYCOSH activities include:

- NYCOSH provided industrial hygiene services to a union representing staff at a CUNY campus building where ongoing construction posed safety and health hazards to employees and students. NYCOSH staff provided expertise, joined meetings with the college president and union members, and met with the construction workers on the site.

- NYCOSH has worked with a coalition of unions and other organizations on Long Island, in New York City and around the state to promote Safe Patient Handling techniques that reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal injuries among health care workers.

- NYCOSH, at the request of the newly elected leaderships of two large union locals, conducted customized training for stewards and delegates on a range of topics including how to establish union-centered health and safety committees.

NYCOSH Offices:

New York City
61 Broadway - Suite 1710
NY, NY 10006
(Fax) 212-227-9854

Long Island
150 Motor Parkway - Suite 306
Hauppauge, NY 11788
(Fax) 631-435-1893