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Somos Un Pueblo Unido Teaming With OSHA To Protect Immigrant Workers

Kevin Meerschaert
New Mexico Occupational Health & Safety Bureau Chief Robert Genoway meets with members of Somos Un Pueblo Unido and hears from immigrants who have faced poor working conditions and workplace injuries.

New Mexico’s OSHA department is teaming with Somos Un Pueblo Unido to bring more workers rights information to immigrants around the state.

The two organizations signed an alliance on Monday at the Somos workers center in Santa Fe.      

Under the agreement both parties will combine efforts to let worker immigrants know their rights and how they can file any necessary forms regarding on-the-job injuries and other matters that OSHA oversees.

Somos Executive Director Mercelia Diaz says too often immigrant workers are afraid to file any complaints against an employer fearing they will be fired.

“This is a key part of it so when we can work with government agencies and find folks in the community who are having these health and safety issues, want to step forward, want to learn more about their rights, but what to complain, this gives us the opportunity to have a deeper relationship with New Mexico OSHA to help facilitate that process,” she said.              

Diaz says they are continuing to work to inform and empower essential workers across the state through their campaign Somos Esenciales where they host workshops and outreach events that inform communities about their workplace rights. 

 As part of their campaign this upcoming legislative session they will be focused on worker centered propositions that benefit all workers in New Mexico.

Somos also launched its Just Transition effort for immigrant oil and gas workers. The office aims to advocate for meaningful and early workforce development investments and economic support in the Permian Basin.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.