Sunday, March 21, 2004

Strikes! Terrorism! Workplace Hazards!

We've got it all here.

Teamsters Local 251, representing drivers from chemical distributor Univar in Providence, RI, have been on strike for 8 months. Univar has hired replacement drivers and the union complains that the replacement drivers are inexperienced and create hazards.

And, it looks like they were right.

Sodium hydroxide leaked from a tanker, burning a police officer in the face.
the officer was burned about the face and head by sodium hydroxide that was being delivered to the ec pigments plant on Quequechan Street. The officer was treated at Saint Anne's Hospital and released.

Officials said that during a delivery of the chemical, a replacement driver forgot to secure the top of the tanker before he pressurized the cargo hold. The resulting spray of caustic soda burned the police officer, who was standing by the truck...Drivers from Teamsters Local 251 claim there have been numerous spills because of unqualified and untrained drivers.
So what was the police officer doing there?
The police "were here because there was a call that there was some terrorist action going on down here, but it was an union issue down here," District Chief Stephen Pietruska, of the Fall River Fire Department, said....

"The cops came and they said that they got a call that maybe terrorists were following the truck. The terrorists are behind the wheel of the truck. That's the terrorist," Greg Fagundes, a striking worker said.