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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...

What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A question for the Office of Applied Studies of the United States Government concerning its report on the link between employment and depression

I submitted this question to the Office of Applied Studies of the United States Government concerning the report referenced below:

As the Director of Organizing for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council, I am wondering if your study on the "most depressing jobs" surveyed the more than 2,000,000 American workers employed in the more than 400 so-called Indian owned and operated casinos and related hospitality industries where workers are employed in a smoke-filled environment at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws?

At present, Michigan Legislators are considering approving another "Compact" approving a new casino in west Michigan which continues these Draconian terms of employment without regard to the health and rights of working people which will subject another 2,000 workers to such a working environment.

I would further note, state and federal agencies have refused to make any records regarding employment in these casinos relating to health and safety issues, as well as statistics concerning other employment data, including wages and hours worked along with unjust firings, available to the public or state legislators. So, in addition to the other question I am wondering if your agency included this category of workers in your survey and study... if so, how many workers were involved; and, under what category and what percentage of this category are they in?

Michigan's Democratic "labor backed Governor" signs away workers' rights in another "Compact." Michigan Legislators in the House approved the "Compact," then under tremendous public pressure, have put approval on hold as the Governor tries to make the case that Michigan needs revenue from this new casino operation to subsidize and finance more handouts to corporations and the wealthy as public education and social services along with other programs for working people are put on the chopping block.

The Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council has called upon Michigan Legislators to turn down this "Compact" with the Gun Lake Band which is fronting for the Station Casinos--- a huge multi-national casino-resort-entertainment conglomerate operated by the Kansas City mob linked Fertitta Family--- and tell the Governor to renegotiate this "Compact" with the Gun Lake Band to include the same protections all other workers in Michigan are entitled to under State and Federal Labor Laws in addition to the right to work in a smoke-free environment like casino workers employed at Manitoba's casinos.

Workers will be employed at poverty wages in a smoke-filled workplace without any rights under Michigan or Federal Labor Laws unless this "Compact" is renegotiated prior to Michigan Legislators giving their final approval.

Depression among Adults Employed Full-Time, by Occupational Category

In Brief

• Combined data from 2004 to 2006 indicate that an annual average of 7.0 percent of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year

• The highest rates of past year MDE among full-time workers aged 18 to 64 were found in the personal care and service occupations (10.8 percent) and the food preparation and serving related occupations (10.3 percent)

• The highest rates of past year MDE among female full-time workers aged 18 to 64 were found in the food preparation and serving related occupations (14.8 percent), and the highest rates among male full-time workers aged 18 to 64 were found in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations (6.7 percent)

Depression can seriously impact a person's ability to perform routine activities at work. It negatively affects U.S. industry through lost productivity, employee absenteeism, and low morale.1,2 U.S. companies lose an estimated $30 to $44 billion dollars per year3,4 because of employee depression. Research shows that the rate of depression varies by occupation and industry.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) includes questions for adults aged 18 or older to assess lifetime and past year major depressive episode (MDE).5 In NSDUH, MDE is defined using the diagnostic criteria set forth in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV),6 which specifies a period of 2 weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, including problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image.7 NSDUH also asks respondents about their current employment situation and the type of occupation and industry in which they work. NSDUH defines full-time employed respondents as those who usually work 35 or more hours per week and who worked in the past week or had a job despite not working in the past week.

This issue of The NSDUH Report uses data from the combined 2004 to 2006 surveys to present estimates of past year MDE among full-time workers aged 18 to 64 by occupational category.

For complete report of the study go to: