News on the BP oil spill might slowly be leaking out of the headlines, but the repercussions of the disaster on the environment, the economy and people’s health are hardly fading away.
One organization working tirelessly to clean up the Gulf is the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). They’re out on the water every day cleaning up oil in an effort to improve the lives of local residents.
“This is my backyard. This is what I’ve grown up doing,” one IBEW electrician said in the video. “This is our life. If we don’t try to save this, we won’t have a tomorrow for our kids.”
Check out IBEW’s new video about their efforts to contain the spill, as well as the catastrophe’s effect on Louisiana. The rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Katrina have hardly started, and now they have to contend with BP’s disaster too.
In the wake of 9/11, we learned the hard way about the dangers of cleaning up disasters without protection. Police, firefighters, and cleanup workers descended into the wreckage of the World Trade Center, and many inhaled toxic ash. Over time that ash has caused major health problems for tens of thousands of people, and even caused some people to lose their lives.
Now, over 27,000 men and women are working to clean up BP’s toxic mix of oil and chemicals without any breathing protection. Not every single worker needs a respirator – it depends on the specifics of the situation – but many do. Already, cleanup workers have reported vomiting, nosebleeds, headaches, and chest pain. Read more »
As if more evidence was needed that unregulated corporate behavior hurts working families and destroys our environment, now comes news that BP compared its workers to the ‘Three Little Pigs’ in calculating the dollar value of their lives.
For BP to value their workers like farm animals is the clearest illustration yet that only the force of law can protect working people. BP executives had a chance to change after the Texas City explosion that killed 15 workers five years ago. Yet 11 more BP workers died last month in the Deepwater Horizon explosion – now spewing countless gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico – all for want of proper safety equipment and strong oversight by the federal government.