Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis sends greetings to the American worker for Labor Day.
"I want to wish all of you, as I begin a happy Labor Day.Î¾ This year, Labor Day comes at a time, you know, when we're facing unprecedented challenges in our country—challenges that severely impact American workers and their families.Î¾ Close to 50 million Americans, as you know, are currently out of a job or are looking for work."
Solis says her agency is focused on creating good jobs for everyone.
"These are more than just numbers.Î¾ They're real families.Î¾ They're real faces.Î¾ They're real people that are, that are right now confronting some major obstacles in the wake of our economic crisis."Î¾
Solis says the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is beginning to show an impact on the economy.Î¾ She says she's optimistic.
"But as I travel throughout the country and our nation here, I see the irrepressible spirit of the American worker.Î¾ Our people are not looking for a handout.Î¾ They're looking to contribute to their families and to the nation as a whole.Î¾ And we at the Department of Labor are committed to help them do just that."Î¾
Secretary Solis recently announced a push for increased OSHA enforcement.Î¾ She made the announcement in late June in San Antonio.
"Texas has had a large number of fatalities in the construction industry and I was very concerned about that, and wanting to make sure that we can deploy our resources there to help remedy that.Î¾ So that's something that, yes, I am very concerned and want to continue to work on.Î¾ And as a result we are, we are going and are committed to beefing up our staff that are going to be investigating these safety hazards.Î¾ So it's really more of an effort to educate people and those businesses that want to comply, because there are many, many firms and businesses that are doing the right thing, expending a great deal of money to get additional training and information and to help their staff and their employees.Î¾ And yes, we are going to be increasing the number of investigators that we bring on.Î¾ In fact, by the year 2010, we're looking at 1,275 in OSHA and as whistle-blowers, and in Wage and Hour, we expect to hire up to 980 as investigators."Î¾Î¾Î¾
Solis says unannounced safety inspections will continue.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.