BP, British Petroleum, corporate cost-cutting, corporate liability, House of Lords, John Browne, Lord Browne of Madingley, oil companies, oil refinery disaster, oil refinery oil, overtime, Reasons for USW Strike, Royal Dutch Shell, Safety, Shell, shift work, Susan Criss, Tesoro, Texas, union, United Steelworkers, USW safety, USW Strike, worker fatigue, worker safety, Workplace accidents
Anatomy of a Disaster, CSB gov http://youtu.be/XuJtdQOU_Z4?
“Work injuries and illnesses exact a tremendous toll on society. Despite the decades-old legal requirement that employers provide workplaces free of serious hazards, every year, more than three million workers are seriously injured, and thousands more are killed on the job. The financial and social impacts of these injuries and illnesses are huge, with workers and their families and taxpayer-supported programs paying most of the costs.” New OSHA Report: “Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job” http://www.dol.gov/osha/report/20150304-inequality.pdf
USW News Release:
“MAR 02, 2015
USW Cites Op-Ed on Oil Refinery Safety by Former Texas Judge Who Handled BP Texas City Explosion Litigation
Column Alleges Oil Companies Value Profits over Worker Safety
GALVESTON, Texas (March 2, 2015) — The United Steelworkers (USW) union today said a newspaper column by former Texas District Judge Susan Criss strengthens the arguments the union has made throughout its one-month Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike in the oil industry.
“Why would a company refuse to guarantee workers the right to a safe workplace? Because the lives and safety of their workers do not matter enough to cut into profits,” Criss wrote in a recent column for the Galveston County Daily News. “Because the people that do the work generating those profits do not matter.”
The argument that oil companies are prioritizing profits over the safety of workers has been the central focus of the USW’s ULP strike that began at nine facilities on Feb. 1 and now includes nearly 7,000 workers at 15 locations. Royal Dutch Shell is leading negotiations on behalf of the companies.
“Why are the union members not backing down? Overtime dollars pay a lot of bills and then some. Striking means bills go unpaid,” Criss wrote. “Why not take the money and take their chances? Because they cannot forget the cost of working in dangerous conditions.”
As a judge, Criss presided over 4,016 legal claims arising from a March 2005 explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas, that killed 15 workers and injured 180.
Investigations into that disaster “revealed a culture of complacency toward worker safety at that refinery contributed to the disaster,” Criss wrote. “Worker fatigue resulting from excessive overtime hours was another problem cited.”
The USW is the largest industrial union in North America, representing workers in a range of industries including metals, mining, rubber, paper and forestry, oil refining, health care, security, hotels, and municipal governments. For more: http://www.usw.org” http://www.usw.org/news/media-center/releases/2015/usw-cites-op-ed-on-oil-refinery-safety-by-former-texas-judge-who-handled-bp-texas-city-explosion-litigation (Emphasis our own). The OpEd is entitled: “USW strike is about worker safety,” 16 Feb. 2015, Galveston Co., The Daily News and may be linked to at the USW site.
Of course, the bigger question is why even when they are fined by the US government, the fines are so small compared to profits made.
The story of one of the Tesoro Refinery workers who died 22 days after the disaster of severe burns. He needed surgery but so bad was the inflammation from the burns that he could not be sewed back up. He is shown in hospital with burns at about 2 minutes into the video. http://youtu.be/q3vetCmqXAw
What was the CEO of BP (1995-2007) John Browne’s reward for the cost-cutting management practices which led to the BP Texas City disaster, as discussed in the CSB’s “Anatomy of a Disaster” http://youtu.be/XuJtdQOU_Z4? He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 and in 2001 was appointed to the House of Lords, becoming Lord Browne of Madingley. Some believe that the BP Gulf Oil Spill is a result of his management practices too, though he was no longer CEO. More recently he has been trying to frack the UK, as head of Cuadrilla oil. Currently he is trying to help a Russian oligarch gain control of UK North Sea Oil fields. (See bottom of this post).
The USW Union (United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union) currently includes the former OCAW.
Anthony Mazzocchi (1926 – 2002), an official in the OCAW, was a primary force behind the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), was a mentor of Karen Silkwood, and has been called the “Rachel Carson” of the American workplace. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Mazzocchi
USW-Tony Mazzocchi Center Safety web site: http://www.uswtmc.org
The United Papermakers and Paperworkers is now part of the USW: “The first known grassroots protest against nuclear power was organized by industrial unions: the United Auto Workers, the International Union of Electrical Workers, and the United Papermakers and Paperworkers. In Power Reactor, a landmark case begun in 1956 and pursued all the way to the Supreme Court (where it was lost in 1961), these unions tried to prevent construction of the Enrico Fermi Atomic Power Plant, a fast breeder reactor, outside Detroit.” “Changing Nature: Union Discourse and the Fermi Atomic Power Plant“, by Jacquelyn Southern, International Labor and Working-Class History No. 85, Spring 2014, pp. 33–58
Former CEO of BP John Browne: “In 1998, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and in 2001 named by the House of Lords Appointments Commission as one of the “people’s peers” taking the title Baron Browne of Madingley, of Cambridge in the County of Cambridgeshire,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Browne,_Baron_Browne_of_Madingley
“UPDATE 3-UK gives oligarch 7 days to justify keeping North Sea fields
Posted:Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:21:21 -0500
* RWE finalised $5.7 billion deal on Monday (Updates with energy minister’s ultimatum)” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/utilitiesNews/~3/Fj6B-TdAllM/rwe-dea-sale-security-idUSL5N0W62PO20150304