Austin Every year in Texas, at least 200, 000 men and women are hurt while they are at work, and between 450 and 1,000 of them are killed at work. What, if anything, should the state of Texas do about this? Stipulate industrial safety standards and penalties for companies that violate them, say Rep. Bob Eckhardt of Houston and the state’s top union spokesmen. Nothingleave it to the safety programs of private industry, which is doing a good job, say the top spokesmen of Texas business. Industrial safety legislation has been an issue in the legislature every session since ex-Rep. Charles Hughes of Sherman started pushing for it in the fifties. In 1958 the legislature’s industrial and occupational safety study commission reported that more than 400,000 Texans were being hurt on the job every year, and almost 1,000 12 The Texas Observer *Conveniently located downtown near business, shopping, and all activities 250 rooms with private bath, shower and radio *100% Air-Conditioned Individually Controlled *Circulating Ice Water on all Floors *Television *Coffee Shop *Garage Singles 350 from $ Industrial Safety killed. The commission said these accidents cost the public $326 million a year, the employees $227 million, and employers $325 million a year. Thirtyseven American states now have industrial safety regulatory bodies, but industry has wrestled against one for Texas in the legislature and in every case so far has won the match. Not before has the subject come to such an emotional climax as it did during the full-dress hearing on the subject before the House labor committee in the House chamber in Austin last week. Lobbyists, pro and con, were present in abundance, and seated in a knot near the speaker’s dais were a group of widows of men who were killed at work. Eckhardt’s bill \(similar to one introduced by Senator Babe Schwartz, ate an occupational safety board and a panel of advisers for it, with representation for workers, employers, and the public. The board would have power to make regulations for safety and healthfulness for all places of employment in Texas and to penalize violators $50 to $500 a day. Hearings and court appeals are provided for. MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 THE PROPONENTS’ strategy marshaled three sources of supportthe Democratic Party, organized labor, and victims of job accidents. Although Gov. John Connally’s influence for an industrial safety law has not been in evidence behind the scenes so far this session, he has endorsed it publicly, and the Democratic platform calls for it. Eckhardt’s witnesses included members of the state Democratic committee from . Orange, Mrs. Jeanette Sanders, and San Antonio, Mrs. Sarah McClure, and the Democratic chairmen from Harris County, Bill Kilgarlin, and Howard County, Frank Hardesty. All these witnesses stressed the platform’s endorsement of the bill. When the committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Butler of Kenedy, said party politics had no proper part in the hearing, Mrs. McClure flatly contradicted him. Last Feb. 7, Preston Weatherred, the Dallas lawyer who sends out conservative political advisories to “interested parties,” called together in Austin lobbyists and businessmen representing about 50 business organizations. Reporter Bob Sherrill walked into the meeting and signed up on the register as “Bob Sherrill, E. Harte enterprises.” He reports for the Long News Service, which services the Harte-Hanks newspapers. Sherill’s report on this meeting played a large part in the hearing on industrial safety. Eckhardt read from the story that Jim Yancy, lobbyist for the Texas manufacurers’ assn., had told the meeting that the House labor committee was 17-4 against the safety law. “I challenge any lobbyist to say how this committee, or any committee, is stacked up,” Eckhardt told the House labor committee. Ex-Sen. Jimmy Phillips, a chemical lobbyist who was listening, smiled and winked at :::. 4″:+:::+:. t:::…….:”. ++.:+++4.C”:”XX ‘:”:+:”:”:+ .:+g POETRY LOVERS ATTENTION! :. The Shelley Study Group announces the opening of a new committee T. to be known as the FROST NEXUS UMBILICUS SYNDROME STUDY *:* :. :* GROUP. The group is inspired by this line of R. Frost’s poetry: : :. :. “My shoes and stockings +Do not hurt my feet.” :. To which all & sundry are urged to contribute their nites. NEC ..:. :. AMERICUM POETICUM PLUS ULTRA! \(Where there’s metre :. Elephant Hill School of Economic Theory … ..:. Post Office Box 66103 . Houston 6, Texas :. “Wellspring of Conservative Thought” :.
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