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Company laments bad guy image

July 25, 2003
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A top executive at McWane, Inc., the pipe fittings manufacturer whose safety problems were probed in a New York Times investigative series earlier this year, says McWane is a "changed company now" in terms of workplace safety and environmental issues, according to a recent interview with The Express-Times in Pennsylvania.

G. Ruffner Page Jr. confirmed to the paper that McWane is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. He said government officials have not told him what the investigation entails.

Page insisted his company implemented workplace safety changes long before The New York Times series revealed a history of violations, injuries and fatalities in McWane plants nationwide. "The thing that's been hurtful is we've been painted as bad guys and that we've been willing to sacrifice anything to make a dollar," Page told the paper. "And it's just not true, in terms of who we are."

Since he become president in 1999, Page said the company has invested millions of dollars in its plants — $62 million for improvements in 2002 alone.

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