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USW, UAW reps named to OSHA whistleblower panel

Keywords: Tags  Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, Nancy Lessin, Leo Gerard, United Steelworkers, United Autoworkers, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced the members of its new Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.

The committee—which includes representatives from industry, labor and the public—will advise, consult and make recommendations to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis and OSHA leaders on how to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA’s existing whistleblower protection programs, according to OSHA.

Among the committee’s members are Nancy Lessin, program director at the United Steelworkers union’s Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education, and Ava Barbour, associate general counsel for the United Auto Workers union.

"Nancy has been assisting and educating workers regarding whistleblower rights, and advocating for strong enforcement of whistleblower statutes, since 1979," USW president Leo W. Gerard wrote in a letter nominating Lessin for the post.

"Nobody should ever live in fear because they saw something wrong and spoke out to make it right," Lessin said in a statement last week.

The committee, which comprises 12 voting members and one nonvoting member, will hold its first meeting Jan. 29.

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