Robert Reich

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Robert B. Reich "is Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written ten books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet, and his most recent book, Reason. His articles have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Mr. Reich is co-founding editor of The American Prospect magazine. His weekly commentaries on public radio’s "Marketplace" are heard by nearly five million people.

"In 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclev Havel Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2005, his play, Public Exposure, broke box office records at its world premiere on Cape Cod.

"As the nation’s 22nd Secretary of Labor, Reich implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act, led a national fight against sweatshops in the U.S. and illegal child labor around the world, headed the administration’s successful effort to raise the minimum wage, secured worker’s pensions, and launched job-training programs, one-stop career centers, and school-to-work initiatives. Under his leadership, the Department of Labor won more than 30 awards for innovation. A 1996 poll of cabinet experts conducted by the Hearst newspapers rated him the most effective cabinet secretary during the Clinton administration.

"Reich has been a member of the faculties of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and of Brandeis University. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School.“ [1]

Reich and Tobacco Issues

On March 25, 1994, as U.S. Secretary of Labor, Reich proposed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enact sweeping rules to dramatically improve the quality of indoor air for American workers, including reducing workers' exposure to secondhand smoke on the job.

The indoor air quality provisions of the proposed rule were to apply to over 4-1/2 million work sites, and the environmental tobacco smoke provisions of this proposed rule would have applied to the over 6 million work sites that are under OSHA's jurisdiction. The proposal would require affected employers to develop and implement indoor air quality compliance plans which would include measures such as inspection and maintanance. For buildings where smoking was not already prohibited by employers or by local requirements, the proposal would require designated smoking areas which are separate and which have outside exhaust systems. The rules were proposed to protect America's working men and women from heart disease,lung cancer,pulmonary tract infections and countless other diseases and illnesses all linked to poor indoor air quality and environmental tobacco smoke, according to the transcript of the press conference where the rules were announced.[2]

The tobacco industry immediately started organizing opposition to Occupational Safety and Health Administration provisions to regulate environmental tobacco smoke.[3]

Resources and articles


  1. Founders and Advisors, Campaign for America's Future, accessed August 4, 2007.
  2. Advisory Board, Roosevelt Institution, accessed September 22, 2007.
  3. Masthead, Democracy, accessed March 31, 2010.
  4. Directors, Truthout, accessed July 15, 2010.

External links

  • Biography”, Accessed January 2007.<tdo>resource_id=31864

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