There is troubling legislation being moved through the Wisconsin Senate that would greatly harm workers throughout the state. Senate Bill 13 seeks to add unnecessary delays, force disclosure of filings with federal personal-injury trusts and take choice away from workers, veterans and others whose lives have been destroyed by the deadly material, asbestos.
Click here to email your state senator and tell them to vote NO on SB 13.
For decades, asbestos has harmed and killed Wisconsin workers, and we are therefore adamantly opposed to the bill. It would be wrong to delay the judicial process for victims of asbestos and deny them their access to justice.
Workers' organizations and unions, such as the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, SMART- Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation and the Wisconsin Building Trades have officially opposed this bill because it would irrevocably harm workers and their families.
Workers, veterans and other asbestos victims that have developed asbestosis, mesothelioma or other respiratory diseases suffer great pain and disability, genuine mental anguish and extreme fear as a result of developing cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The employees also unknowingly brought these asbestos fibers home on their clothing, exposing their families to this dangerous, cancer causing material. Imagine the torment they feel with that fact.
Wisconsinites have been exposed to asbestos while on the job or actively serving our country in the armed forces. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wisconsin is ranked 14th in the nation in asbestos deaths from malignant mesothelioma. Mills, foundries, factories, rail yards, construction sites, manufacturing plants, naval ships and military barracks are a few of the many examples where Wisconsin workers and veterans were exposed to asbestos.
Because of its well-known use as a fire-retardant and heat insulator, asbestos was used to insulate factories, schools, homes, and ships, and to make automobile brake and clutch parts, roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, cement, textiles and hundreds of other products. Because of this, it is easy to see how workers in the manufacturing, mining, railroad, sheet metal or construction industries are particularly at risk of overexposure to asbestos.
A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine showed the harmful effects asbestos has had on sheet metal workers and uncovered some disturbing statistics. The study showed that 21 percent of sheet metal workers tested positive for pleural scarring - a prime indicator for an asbestos-related disease. Workers who were on the job for at least 40 years saw the number jump to 33 percent.
In Wisconsin, almost 400 sheet metal workers have had positive results on an asbestos test. This group of workers is just one example of how asbestos has detrimentally affected the lives of many in Wisconsin. Sadly, many other workplaces have been affected just as badly, if not worse.
Senate Bill 13 recently passed its final committee stop in the Wisconsin Senate and can be scheduled for vote any time now. We must fight for the workers that have been exposed to asbestos. For years to come workers will, unfortunately, be dealing with the deadly effects of asbestos. Stand with Wisconsin workers and veterans and oppose Senate Bill 13, email your state senator today.