- OIL & GAS
Articles by Garrett Brown MPH, CIH
Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess was instructed to attend a meeting at 11 am on September3, 2013 – the day after Labor Day – with California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and Department of Industrial Relations Director Christine Baker at DIR’s Oakland Headquarters.
A whistleblower complaint charging the Department of Industrial Relations with misuse of state and federal funds designated for Cal/OSHA, the state workplace health and safety agency, was filed with the California State Auditor on Tuesday, April 1st by a 20-yearveteran of the agency – me -- who retired in January 2014.
Words fail at times like this – another garment factory fire in Bangladesh; 112 dead and 150 injured; another round of despair and anguish for the workers and their families; another round of denials by international garment brands that they bear any responsibility; another round of promises by the brands and their contractors that they will “do better” while refusing to acknowledge that it is their “profits first and foremost” production system that has led to fire after fire after fire.
It happened again in Bangladesh in December 2010 - a fire in a garment factory killed 29 workers and hundreds were injured as they were suffocated, burned alive, trampled in stairwells, or leapt to their deaths from the 9th and 10th floors - because four of seven exit doors were locked.
The Alta Gracia Project pays more than twice the prevailing wage for garment workers, has a member-controlled trade union, and has made workplace health and safety a priority.