Monday, February 06, 2006

Now who's gonna stand for me

TRW brake pads kill people. Don't buy them.

Over the last 6 years, at least 107 people who work for TRW in Mount Vernon, Ohio, have developed severe respiratory illness as a result of unsafe and negligent working conditions. The plant was designed by TRW with insufficient ventilation for the machining operation.

Then management turned off the ventilation fans in the winter, to save power.

Then they chained the doors shut.

So the workers wouldn't open them.

TRW says they've done nothing illegal, and perhaps that's true, since OSHA doesn't have any regulations regarding the use of metalworking coolant. But there's a difference between illegal and wrong.

When you chained those doors shut, after your workers cut the padlocks open, you knew you were wrong. You thought of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, or you should've. Either way, you knew it wasn't right.

As long as this stays a local problem, not one damned thing will change.

Make sure your mechanic knows what kind of shop TRW runs. If you hear the words "brake job" from anyone, tell this story.

Write to TRW and ask how they can possibly defend this policy to you, as a potential investor in their company. (You might even be an actual investor in TRW... my plan tomorrow is to ask TIAA-CREF about that.)

Patrick Stobb
Director, Investor Relations
12001 Tech Center Drive
Livonia, MI 48150

We also need messages to OSHA to ask them to prioritize the research they need to do in order to issue binding rulings on the use of metalworking coolant. TRW cannot be the only company which will refuse to do the right thing until it is also the required thing. Tell OSHA we know, and we care.

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210

And if you run a web site, link to this page, link to Alison's page about TRW, link to the Columbus Dispatch story about protesting TRW workers and the one above, link to the TRW news site run by one of the protesters. If we get enough links to these pages, they'll rise in Google's rankings when people do relevant searches.

We need letters, on paper, to people who can make a change. But even a few minutes saying "read this" on the Internet will make a difference.

I hate to call for a boycott, because Knox County can't afford to lose these jobs. But Knox County also can't afford to become a source of disposable labor. And we can't afford 43-year old fathers who can't play catch with their sons.

No TRW. Spread the word.


Blogger John B. said...

Thanks for the 'heads up'

Awful, simply awful. An example of what company ownership will do if left unchecked.

9:19 AM, February 06, 2006  

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