Reagan Republicans hated OSHA–no surprise

With a hat tip to Dave Farber’s ip list:


Here’s a nice Labor Day story.


In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter’s administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) commissioned a series of three 30-minute films about worker safety. These were real pro productions, with Studs Terkel as narrator on two of the productions. In 1981, Reagan appointed 36-year old Florida construction executive Thorne G. Auchter, who proceeded to systematically dismantle the agency. Evidently, the 3 films disturbed Thorne greatly, because OSHA issued a recall, threatening to withhold OSHA funds from any organization that did not return their copies of the films, which were promptly destroyed.

But, a few union officials defied the ban and "stole" copies so they weren’t able to be returned. Over the years, they would occasionally show them to their troops, using the fact they banned as a way to get them to watch the films, which have important messages about worker rights and workplace safety. But, aside from these bootleg showings, the video disappeared.

Public.Resource.Org got a note recently from Mark Catlan, a health and safety expert for one of the unions for the last 28 years (he actually started working for the union the year the film came out, and remembers his education director stealing a copy out of his office so it wouldn’t get returned). A year ago, Mark decided the world needed to see these films, so he found 16-mm canisters and made them available to us to transfer to DVCAM and then disk.

Making their public debut after 30 years are "Worker to Worker," "Can’t Take No More," and "The Story of OSHA."

Link to YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=31E75CE43C7B93B5


Link to the Internet Archive:

http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22public.resource.org%22%20AND%20subject%3A%22osha.gov%22%20AND%20mediatype%3Amovies


http://tiny.cc/hdLvC 

Carl Malamud <carl@media.org>