Monday, January 23, 2012

Women feel more pain than men

Because I represent injured people in workers' comp cases or auto accidents or other types of accidents like slip and falls, I deal with people in pain on a constant basis.  That's why this article from the NY Daily News jumped out at me.

Researchers at Stanford University examined medical records of more than 72,000 patients, and found that women reported feeling about 20 percent more pain than men. 
Patients were asked to rate their pain on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being no pain at all, and ten being the most extreme pain, and on average women reported one point higher than men. Their findings, which were published Monday in the Journal of Pain, held true for a wide variety of diagnoses. 
Scientists are studying whether the disparity proves that women actually feel more than men, or whether they're simply more willing to report feeling pain.

I'm not sure what I make of this.  Obviously, our culture stresses that boys and men, generally, should not complain of pain or be deemed "less manly."  I think that probably has a lot to do with it.  Anyway...fascinating stuff.  The entire article is a good read. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teamster strike, local picketing, ends in pipeline industry

From the Towanda Daily Review:

A strike by Teamsters Union members working in the gas and oil pipeline construction industry has ended, though some issues remain unresolved. 
During the strike, which began the during the first week of January, Teamsters Union members picketed against pipeline contractors in Troy and North Towanda Township. Teamster workers across the country in the pipeline construction industry returned to work Friday following an agreement between the union and the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) to extend the previous labor agreement for three months, according to a press release posted by the Teamsters Union on its national website. 
This will mark the third time the National Pipe Line Agreement, which expired on Jan. 31, 2011, between the Teamsters and the PLCA has been extended. The full term of the extension will run from Nov. 15-April 13, 2012.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hotel workers routinely taken advantage of...

From The

More than a dozen low-level hotel workers in Indianapolis have filed a class-action lawsuit against ten of the city's hotels and a labor staffing agency, claiming they were routinely cheated out of pay with the knowledge of hotel management. 
The workers -- most of them Hispanic immigrants employed as housekeepers, dishwashers and bussers -- say they were forced to work off the clock and through their unpaid breaks, sometimes pushing their earnings below the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The suit could potentially involve more than a thousand workers and millions of dollars in claims, according to the hotel workers union UNITE HERE, which is organizing workers in Indianapolis.
I wonder if this type of thing goes on in our area.  This article caught my attention due to the many hotels being built in our area.  There are two new hotels that will constructed in the Valley on Elmira Street in Athens Township.  A few years ago a Hampton Inn opened up on Elmira Street.  There are two new hotels in Towanda with a third one planned.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gas Pipeline Safety Regulations

Here is an article from the Rocket Courier of Wyalusing about the enactment of legislation that would enhance the safety of gas pipelines in Pennsylvania.  House Bill 344 permits the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to have regulatory oversight of natural gas lines.

“Currently, Pennsylvania is one of a very few states that produce natural gas that does not give the authority of gas lines to a state entity, and as a result, there is no designated agency to ensure compliance for a number of safety regulations,” Pickett said. “The influx of activity in the Marcellus Shale region and the increasing demand for this type of energy has necessitated action on this legislation, and I am pleased to see this bill finally moving to the governor.”
The legislation gives the PUC the power to inspect and investigate natural gas pipelines with the Commonwealth in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration.
The article's slant is toward protecting landowners, which is important, in and of itself.  But it will also protect gas workers.  There has been rash of gas pipeline explosions that has killed and injured dozens throughout the state.  Hopefully this legislation will cut down those types of injuries.  We will have to wait and see.