Sunday, January 11, 2004

Your Right to a Safe Workplace

There are rights on paper -- like the right to file a complaint with OSHA -- and then there's the real world.
Councilman Lost Job after Reporting Safety Breaches at Plant

Charleston, S.C. Jan. 1--A Charleston city councilman lost his job at the Rhodia SA chemical plant in the Neck Area a few months after he complained to regulators about safety conditions at the facility, records show.

Councilman Wendell Gilliard, a longtime employee at the plant, filed a complaint about safety issues at the plant in August 2003, according to documents obtained by The Post and Courier. The plant was later fined for safety violations. In October, Gilliard was fired, documents indicate.

The plant has been fined for violations. A 1991 explosion killed nine workers, injured dozens and sent a cloud of chemicals into surrounding neighborhoods. Albright & Wilson, which owned the plant at the time, was fined nearly $900,000 for the incident. Rhodia bought the plant about four years ago.