Grilling the workers


‘We are dying’: Houston workers protest new state law removing water break requirements

House Bill 2127, which takes effect on Sept. 1, will do away with local rules that require water breaks for construction workers. The cities of Austin and Dallas, for example, require 10-minute breaks every four hours. San Antonio officials had been considering a similar ordinance.

Ten minute breaks every four hours are not all that much, especially in blazing heat. (When I worked as a seasonal laborer for the Seattle Parks Department the rule was fifteen minute breaks every two hours – thanks to the union. Annoyingly, some crews liked to combine the breaks into one break first thing in the morning to go to a restaurant for a big breakfast. I think I pointed out once or twice that this meant we got no break from the peak afternoon heat, but got nowhere. Seasonals were the lumpenproletariat.)

This summer has already been a punishing one, with record-high temperatures throughout the state, a reminder that climate change continues to worsen heat in Texas. At the morning news conference, protesters sweat as they wore hard hats and held white crosses in honor of construction workers who have died from the heat. Organizers offered water and Gatorade.

The people who passed the law taking the breaks away work inside in air-conditioned offices and chambers. They’re not going to die of heat stroke on the job. It’s unabashed class privilege and sadism, but the left is too busy sniffing out terfs and DEI-criminals to pay attention.

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