SB 54, SBCTC's Refinery Safety Bill Overwhelmingly Approved by Assembly
September 10, 2013 - Senate Bill 54, the SBCTC-Sponsored bill to secure jobs for Building Trades members and improve safety at dangerous chemical manufacturing facilities, including refineries, was approved by the State Assembly on a 51-24 vote. The bill requires that work performed at those facilities is performed by a skilled and trained workforce, which in turn is defined as qualified journeypersons and apprentices who have met advanced safety training requirements, and who have graduated from state-approved apprenticeship programs. SB 54 requires the percent of journeypersons on the job at these facilities to gradually increase between 2014 and 2016, to a maximum of 60 percent, and applies only to outside contractors, not to in-house employees.
This is an effort to address the risk posed to public health and safety resulting from unskilled and untrained workers without the necessary public safety knowledge working at these high-risk facilities that are in operation 24 hours a day under extreme conditions. It also requires that these highly skilled, trained workers receive prevailing wage, thus removing the economic incentives for outside contractors to cut corners by paying lower wages to lesser skilled and trained workers, often from out of state.
SBCTC President Robbie Hunter said: “We thank the Assembly for this responsible vote to move this measure forward. These high-risk facilities should employ the most skilled and qualified workers possible.”
The bill must now return to the Senate for additional committee hearings and votes in the last week of the legislative session. So please contact your local state Senator and urge them to support SB 54 now. (The Senators listed below are potential swing votes and contacting them is especially important.) This is the most important remaining piece of our agenda that is still pending before the Legislature.
KEY SENATORS TO CONTACT TO URGE YES VOTE ON SB 54
916-651-4030 - Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, District 36
916-651-4034 - Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, District 34
916-651-4022 - Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, District 22
916-651-4002 - Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, District 2
916-651-4024 - Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, District 24
916-651-4013 - Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, District 13
916-651-4040 - Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista, District 40
916-651-4019 - Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, District 19
916-651-4025 - Carol Liu, D-Glendale, District 25
916-651-4035 - Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, District 35
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