Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hazard or HardshipCrafting Global Norms on the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeffrey Hilgert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451898

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451898.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Human Rights and the Struggle to Define Hazards

Human Rights and the Struggle to Define Hazards

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 Human Rights and the Struggle to Define Hazards
Source:
Hazard or Hardship
Author(s):

Jeffrey Hilgert

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451898.003.0001

This chapter reviews Anglo-American labor history to illustrate that the right to refuse unsafe work has been a struggle to decide who is empowered to define it. The right to refuse was protected as early as the Jellico Agreement of 1893, which covered eight Appalachian mines and was at the time “one of the most advanced agreements of any miners in the country.” It allowed a miner “to refuse to work if he thought the mine was dangerous through failure of the bosses to supply enough support timber.” After the enactment of the U.S. National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act) and adoption of Wagner Act principles in Canada in the 1940s, the right to refuse unsafe work gained ground as a viable subject of collective bargaining in North America. Collective labor agreements would become the only way to circumvent the strict common laws on the termination of employment that had commodified workers in the United States and Canada.

Keywords:   right to refuse, unsafe work, hazardous work, Anglo-American labor history, Jellico Agreement 1893, National Labor Relations Act 1935, Wagner Act, collective labor agreements, collective bargaining

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.