Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Teamsters expose chemical company’s OSHA violations

We all know how private equity firms swoop in, buy up companies and plunder them until there's nothing left. Worker safety is often one of the first things to go.

Well, Teamsters at Nexeo Solutions – a chemical distribution company purchased by private equity firm TPG Capital – protested a hazardous materials seminar run by the company in Salt Lake City today. They distributed leaflets explaining how Nexeo's is endangering its workers and the public.

According to the press release,
Since private equity titan TPG Capital took over Texas-based Nexeo, the company has been the subject of safety complaints and has agreed to pay thousands of dollars to settle with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for mishandling hazardous chemicals.

OSHA cited Nexeo’s warehouse in Tewksbury, Mass., for subjecting employees to hazardous conditions “likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” Employees were “exposed to fire hazards created by the incompatible storage of flammable liquids and organic peroxides,” the agency
Nexeo’s new TPG owners aren’t just cutting corners when it comes to safety:
TPG’s corporate raiders have also loaded Nexeo with $600 million in debt to inflate its investment returns. It also slashed Nexeo workers’ pension and insurance plans, threatening employees’ retirement security and health.
Teamsters work at Nexeo facilities throughout the country. Business agent Neil Messino at Local 705 is outraged that the company would put peoples’ lives at risk:
“It is unconscionable that Nexeo’s new owners would be taking such risks with people’s livelihoods. Our members and the communities that surround Nexeo facilities deserve better.”
Once again, Teamsters are on the front line in the fight against bosses who put greed over public safety and fairness for workers.

-- Union Thug