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Physical Jobs Tied to More Sick Leave, Earlier Retirement | Health News

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By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

MONDAY, May 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — People with physically demanding jobs take more sick leave. They also have higher unemployment rates and shorter work lives, a new Danish study finds.

“This study showed that high physical work demands are a marked risk factor for a shortened expected working life and increased years of sickness absence and unemployment,” study co-author Lars Andersen and colleagues wrote. Andersen is with the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen.

For the study, the researchers looked at people ages 30, 40 and 50 in Denmark who had a job as of November 2013. The investigators examined their periods of sick leave, unemployment and disability pension payments until 2017.

More men than women had physically demanding jobs, such as carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, cleaning and manufacturing.

Men with such jobs were an average of nearly three years younger than men in physically undemanding jobs, while women in physically demanding jobs were about 10 months older than those in physically undemanding jobs.

For both men and women, physically demanding jobs were strongly associated with shorter work life (years worked until retirement), and more sick leave and unemployment, compared with physically undemanding jobs.

For men age 30, working life would be expected to last almost 32 years for those with physically demanding jobs and nearly 34 years for those with physically undemanding jobs. Among women, the figures were just over 29.5 years and nearly 33 years, respectively, according to the researchers.

Overall, a 30-year-old woman with a physically demanding job would be expected to have three fewer years of working life, 11 more months of sick leave and 16 more months of unemployment than a 30-year-old woman with a physically undemanding job, the findings showed.

The equivalent figures for a 30-year-old man with a physically demanding job would be two fewer years of working life, 12 additional months of sick leave and 8 more months of unemployment, according to the study.

The findings were published online May 12 in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

The study can’t prove a definite cause-and-effect relationship. Still, “the findings highlight the urgency of addressing problems related to physical work demands with regard to, for example, an increasing statutory retirement age,” the authors wrote in a journal news release.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Labor Day Festival canceled | News, Sports, Jobs

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ISHPEMING — Add the Labor Day Festival, put on by the Upper Peninsula Regional Labor Federation, as another event canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, which would have been the 31st consecutive festival, was scheduled to take place on Sept. 7 at Lake Bancroft Park in Ishpeming.

UPRLF President Mike Thibault confirmed the cancellation was related to the pandemic.

“We made a decision pretty early on that it was a year that we’d have to skip because we do get a couple thousand people there and there’s no social distancing,” Thibault said. “I mean, it’d be pretty hard to do.”

He acknowledged it was a hard decision.

“It’s a day that we recognize working families and share the day with working families and employees across the U.P.,” Thibault said.

The Labor Day Festival, he noted, typically entails a parade through Ishpeming, a picnic lunch and guest speakers from various affiliated labor unions. With 2020 being an election year, the event likely would have included elected officials and people running for office.

The UPRLF is the parent organization to the Central Labor Councils in the U.P. Community labor councils in the U.P. provide the grassroots network of the labor movement’s efforts to ensure that economic, education, health care and other policies benefit working families, according to its website at www.uplabor.com.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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US Allows H-1B Visa Holders To Return For Same Jobs They Did Before Ban

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US Allows H-1B Visa Holders To Return For Same Jobs They Did Before Ban

Trump administration has relaxed some rules for H-1B visas.

Washington:

The Trump administration has relaxed some rules for H-1B visas allowing visa holders to enter the US if they return to the same jobs they had before the visa ban.

The US Department of State advisory said dependents, or spouses and children, would also be allowed to travel with the visa holders.

“Travel by applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification,” the state department advisory said.

The US has also allowed travel by technical specialists, senior-level managers and other workers who hold H-1B visas, saying it is necessary to facilitate the “immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States”.

President Donald Trump had signed a proclamation on June 22 banning the entry of certain non-immigrants with H-1B and L1 visas until the end of the year to protect the US labour market following record unemployment rates because of the Covid19 pandemic.

The US tech industry, including Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, had backed a lawsuit against the move.

America has also allowed the travel of visa holders working as public health or healthcare professionals, or researchers as the country battles the raging pandemic.

“Travel supported by a request from a US government agency or entity to meet critical US foreign policy objectives or to satisfy treaty or contractual obligations. This would include individuals, identified by the Department of Defense or another US government agency, performing research, providing IT support/services, or engaging other similar projects essential to a US government agency,” the advisory stated.

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County seeks grant for gravemarkers in township cemeteries | News, Sports, Jobs

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News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Alpena County Veteran Affairs Director George Stevens shows what new gravemarkers and flags would look like if they are installed at cemeteries in county townships. The Veterans Affairs Office applied for a grant to purchase gravemarkers and flags for area veterans’ graves.

ALPENA — The Alpena County Veteran Affairs office is working to place gravemarkers and American flags at the graves of veterans around the county.

The office applied for a $7,600 grant from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for the project, county Veterans Service Officer Dan Perge said. The office also has $2,000 leftover from a prior project that it plans to contribute to the memorials in township cemeteries without their own veteran grave program.

“They will be used as a way to honor the veterans in the township cemeteries, and we should find out if we got the grant this week, I hope,” Perge said.

Alpena already honors veterans at the city-owned cemetery with gravemarkers and flags, but most townships have few memorials outside of what family or friends plant or place near the graves, Perge said.

If the office wins the grant, Perge will begin working with township officials to get an accurate count of how many veterans’ graves need markers.

“We haven’t quite got to that point, but we will be working with the townships to determine what we need to do and go over logistics like who will place them,” Perge said. “Right now, we’re just getting things going.”.

Veteran Affairs Director George Stevens said township graves contain the bodies of soldiers dating back to the Civil War and every war after, buried in cemeteries large and small around the county.

He said people enjoy walking through cemeteries and admiring the gravestones, learning about those who died. Adding the gravemarkers will add to that experience, Stevens said.

Tammy Bates, trustee in Green Township, where there are two cemeteries, Greely Cemetery and Spratt Cemetery, said the township is always looking for ways to improve its parks, cemeteries, and facilities, but it’s hard to do so with so little wiggle room in the budget.

“People take pride in their cemeteries, and this will help to make it look better, while honoring the veterans appropriately,” Bates said. “Right now, we have identified 63 veterans that we know of. We may inject some more help from people, because there could be some that we haven’t identified. We want to include everybody, if possible.”

Stevens said people always show up in large numbers for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, when there are special parades and ceremonies at Little Flander’s Field.

He said the Avenue of Flags set up along Washington Avenue by the Alpena Kiwanis Club and Alpena Booster Club is another example of how the community supports military heroes.

“Sometimes, you can drive or walk by Evergreen Cemetery and there are American flags as far as you can see, and it is just great,” he said. “The people in the area have always had a deep respect and appreciation for veterans, so we’ll see where this goes. We’ll know more about the grant soon.”

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