Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Dying to Get Paid

In today's Deseret News, Utah Hospitality Association spokesman Steve Barth said this in defense of smoking in clubs and bars: "You have to sign up, you have to pay membership fees. You have to choose to be there." The problem here, though isn't the rights of the patrons as Barth and others insist, it's the rights of the workers. No worker should ever be forced to choose between their health and a paycheck. We now know the harmful effects of coal dust, asbestos, and many other problems that plagued American workers. We have acted on all of them on behalf of workers. Now we understand the effects of cigarette smoking, and once again we must act on behalf of the health and safety of workers.

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