OAN’s Noah Herring
5:10 PM – Tuesday, July 25, 2023
A Democrat congressman started a “thirst strike” in protest of a Texas law that critics claim will override local mandates such as water breaks for people working in the heat.
On Tuesday, Representative Greg Casar (D-Texas), whose congressional district covers much of Austin and San Antonio, tweeted a photo of himself with civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, while taking his last sip of water before his strike.
“Just took my last drink of water before my thirst strike with the one and only, Dolores Huerta. #WorkersCantWait,” he captioned the tweet.
Casar demanded that the Biden Administration implement an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace standard for the heat as soon as possible in a letter that was crafted and signed by more than 110 Democrats.
Those who signed criticized a new law from Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) that they claim would take power away from cities and could eliminate heat protections in Dallas and Austin.
Despite criticism of the law, House Bill 2127 does not mention water breaks specifically, but prohibits cities from creating rules that go beyond state law. Presently, there is no federal or state law that mandates employers to provide paid water breaks.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y), Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) were seen showing support for Casar during the thirst strike.
“In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, workers shouldn’t be dying from heat-related illnesses. Proud to join this effort led by @GregCasar,” Omar tweeted.
The strike comes after the nation is experiencing historic heatwaves. Around 46 million Americans were under heat warnings on Tuesday, with no signs of temperatures lowering in the next couple of days.
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