(UnitedVoice.com) – Much of the US is dealing with a record-breaking heat wave. Locations in Texas have been rated among the hottest places on Earth. Working conditions are rough for many Americans because of the heat, so one congressman has decided to go on strike.
On Tuesday, July 25, Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) participated in an all-day hunger and thirst strike outside the US Capitol with other activists. The freshman lawmaker explained that he wants President Joe Biden to pass protections for workers that address the heat many work in. He believes there should be mandated water and rest breaks.
Casar told CBS News that he was raised in Texas, where it’s always been hot, but “it hasn’t usually been this hot.” The climate crisis is causing temperatures to surge, and he said it has led to a situation where workers “get sick and die” sometimes. He wants the Biden administration to pass federal protections as soon as possible, “especially for next summer, which we know could be even hotter than this one.”
The congressman also pointed to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and said he “should be helping everyday workers,” but instead, he signed House Bill 2127. The bill reportedly prevents counties from enacting some ordinances. Casar claims it would prevent workers from taking water breaks, calling the bill “cruel” and “wrong.” Abbott has disputed those allegations, saying workers will still be allowed to take breaks while they are at work.
Casar was joined on Capitol Hill by people who lost loved ones to heat-related deaths. That included the family of 25-year-old Roendy Granillo, who died from heat stroke in 2015 after allegedly being denied a break while working on a construction site. Granillo’s father, Gustavo Granillo, has been fighting for workers’ rights ever since. He wants to see mandatory water breaks passed.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), and Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) spoke to those gathered on the Capitol steps that day and greeted those protesting. Casar and more than 100 members of Congress wrote the Biden administration a letter asking the president to make changes.
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