December 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm #605862
Digging around on the Internets last night, I found this PBS Frontline piece on cell tower deaths. It seems that AT&T and other service providers have been pushing tower subcontractors to work harder, faster, and cheaper – with the result that workers are dying.
As if that’s not bad enough, the perpetrators will not own up to their responsibility. They claim that worker deaths are the subcontractors’ problem, not theirs. But it’s nearly impossible to put the finger on subcontractors, as the investigation shows. Meanwhile, an emasculated OSHA sits on its thumbs.
This report lays out in black and white why we need to rein in corporate power and make corporations accountable for the harm they do. And when I say this, I’m not forgetting for a second that profit-hungry stockholders and bargain-hunting consumers share a measure of blame, too. But still, the specific decisions that led to these deaths were made by corporate managers, so clearly they (and the corporations they serve) have the highest level of culpability.
Reach out and kill someone.December 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm #779455December 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm #779456
What is missing in the board rooms of our corporations?
(piggy backing on another post: see Scientists Say We Should…)
Do, Be, Do, Be, Do
Until we learn to work and live from love and harmony instead of fear and greed, negativity and problems shall be the norm.
Here are some people talking about a new approach:December 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm #779457
Photo flagged and removed from 1st post but direct image link left behind, for anyone who wants to look.December 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm #779458
Thank you WSB! Sorry DBP…must be getting sensitive in my old age.
To your post…
You know this is not isolated to the wireless industry. Every large scale infrastructure job is full of statistical data about Safety incidents – and assigning negligance to some entity.
Playing devil’s advocate, and by no means am I condoning or trying to demean a senseless accidental demise or severe injury in these trades…
But consider that the large corps go out to bid on these huge scaled projects. Companies respond to the scope of work and, many times are provided opportunity to update the specs / scope..but often not…they bid blindly in some cases and are stuck holding the bag to make a profit when awarded the bid. “Cost overruns are the responsibility of the awardee..”
So…it is a shared responsibility of Corporation and Contractor (if they are different) to adhere to explicit safety standards, while also trying to turn a profit.
Not to splice hairs here too, but to further muddy the waters of your passionate rant…I suspect a higher % of cases of injury / death are truly the cause of the individual worker taking shortcuts – even after proper training & oversight.
Yes…the pressure of timelines is there.
Yes..the pressure to make a profit is there
Yes…the Safety regulations are there.
Yes…shortcuts are taken at many levels and coverups occur.
But it is not always about The Man sticking to the little guy…sometimes…it is the little guy who harms themselves senselessly.December 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm #779459
Sorry. I’ll be more careful in the future.
FYI: The photo was a screen shot taken from the Frontline program that aired in prime time, albeit with a “viewer discretion” warning.
It might not necessary for Blog readers to see photos like this, but it would be fitting if AT&T executives were obliged to look at it at least, don’t you think?
There’s an old guy, a WWII combat vet, who vigils with the us at the Junction. He carries a placard with a picture of a wailing, blood-spattered Iraqi child and hands out leaflets urging people to call their Senators and demand an end to the war. Naturally people avoid him; after all, they’ve come to Junction to shop and have a good time, not to be confronted with some horrific scene of violence. (Never mind that their tax dollars are financing that violence.)
But this is the thing, see? This unwillingness to confront the truth is one of the reasons that war and other horrors committed in our name can continue. It’s because we can so easily avert our collective gaze from the consequences of our actions.
In the Vietnam era, TV brought scenes of the carnage into our living rooms on a nightly basis, with the result that the government could not plausibly claim that we were “saving” the South Vietnamese people. (Even Americans understand that you cannot simultaneously butcher someone and save them.) Since then, the government has learned its lesson. No more nightly scenes of carnage on the TV. No more iconic photos of little girls running screaming from the village, their skin still searing from napalm . . .
Instead, we’re treated to neat-o footage of fighter jets swooshing off carrier decks and triumphal “Mission Accomplished” banners. That’s what we’ve come to think of as “war” in this blind new world.
So it goes . . .December 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm #779460
Ok…so send the photo to the AT&T exectutive then.
Easy to do…look them up…its publically traded all the names are there. Email it..print it and send it snail mail…or stand in front of their doors Roger Moore style with a bull horn.
Do it as often as you feel it necessary…
But I sincerely doubt any AT&T exec is viewing the WSB waiting to be taunted about their wireless network infrastructure building practices.
You really believe TV is watering down the violence on the world or local news?
When can’t you turn on the TV and see some war, gang, or large civil uprising violence?
BTW…where are you going with this anyway?December 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm #779461
Sometimes the subs will take the contract knowing the only way they can make money is to cut some corners. You can point fingers back and forth all day. If the corps want it faster then bid the deal with more staff. If you lose then so be it.December 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm #779462
that’s all well and good, bostonman, but the problem is the “lowest bidder always wins” mentality.
if i’m contracting work on my house, i’m always scared of the guy who comes in 20% lower than everyone else.
you get what you pay for, and we now live in a country where money talks louder than quality. or safety. or ethics.December 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm #779463
“Naturally people avoid him; after all, they’ve come to Junction to shop and have a good time, not to be confronted with some horrific scene of violence. (Never mind that their tax dollars are financing that violence.)”
Gotta laugh at the idea of someone who has been unemployed for years glibly poking fun at his employed neighbors who *gasp* pay taxes, as if they’re the ones doing something wrong. The hypocrisy of pointing fingers at people who contribute to society while you repeatedly “do something” that you’ve admitted to being a worthless empty gesture is astounding in its arrogance, as is your expressed hate for your fellow man.
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