Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Waste Management" corporate practices in Oakland kill a worker, threaten the health & safety of others

Funeral service held for Eva Macias, June 24th, 2013

1. The recycling industry has a terrible safety record nationwide. Too many workers are being killed and injured.
2. The City of Oakland’s recycling contractors seem to be doing no better than the abysmal record nationwide.
3. Last June, Waste Management employee Evangelina Macias – a mother and longtime employee – was crushed to death at work.
4. Cal-OSHA investigated. They determined that Waste Management caused the death. The company was cited for several serious safety violations and fined over $50,000.
5. Waste Management hasn’t taken responsibility; they’re refusing to pay the fine and are appealing the citations.
6. Each day, Oakland’s recycling workers are exposed to heavy dust, asbestos and lead, solvents, pesticides and other hazardous chemicals, sharp objects including dirty syringes, human and animal feces, and dead animal carcasses. In addition to raising their abysmally low-pay, I hope the Council will impose new health and safety standards – including company-paid health and safety training conducted by outside, independent providers – along with the right to sanction companies who fail to prevent hazards.

2013-07-26 "Waste Management Workers Protest Hazardous Conditions and Poverty Wages" from the "Spotlight" newsletter of the "California Labor Federation": 
Last year, Cal-OSHA charged Waste Management (the company that collects waste and recycling for the city of Oakland) with violating safety rules that led to the death of a worker. Despite a formal citation from Cal-OSHA, Waste Management has refused to pay any fines or take responsibility for causing the worker’s death. The conditions have continued to deteriorate, and last month, federal officials filed a formal complaint against Waste Management for violating federal labor laws.
Frustrated with the employer's persistent law-breaking and poverty wages, the Waste Management workers launched a protest at company headquarters on Thursday, the second such protest they've held since the federal complaint. At the protest, the workers detailed the shocking hazardous working conditions and dangerous materials they encounter on the job, and called on the employer to clean up its act and treat its workers with respect.

2013-07-24 "Waste Management recycling workers will protest at company headquarters against abuse, disrespect & poor conditions"
Press Release from "International Longshore & Warehouse Union" []:
Protest Wednesday, July 24th, 10am-12 noon & 1-3:30pm at [72 98th Avenue, Oakland]
CONTACT: ILWU Communications Craig Merrilees [510-774-5325] [], Roy San Filippo [415-775-0533 x118]
Recycling workers who process materials collected from residents in Oakland and other East Bay cities will protest on Wednesday, July 24 in front of Waste Management's corporate headquarters at 172 98th Avenue in Oakland, CA from 10am to 12 noon, and from 1pm to 3:30pm. The largest turnout is expected in the afternoon, from 2-3pm.
Workers are frustrated because Waste Management has been violating federal labor laws and treating workers disrespectfully. Last week, workers organized their first protest, volunteering hundreds of hours of time to the cause. Last month, federal officials filed a formal complaint against Waste Management for violating federal labor laws.
Last year, Waste Management was charged by Cal-OSHA with violating safety rules that led to the death of a worker. After being formally cited by Cal-OSHA with serious safety violations, Waste Management refused to pay any fines or take responsibility for causing the worker's death.
Waste Management enjoys a lucrative contract with the City of Oakland that is up for reconsideration by the City Council. The company reported profits last year in excess of $800 million dollars, but has refused to improve pay for their workforce of low-wage recycling workers – most of whom earn $12.67 or less per hour. Recycling workers in San Francisco and San Jose who do the same work are paid $20 per hour – enough to support families and escape poverty.
During the protest, recycling workers will provide details about the hazardous working conditions and dangerous materials they encounter on the job.

2013-06-26 "Rest In Peace: Evangelina 'Eva' Macias Family, friends and co-workers attended the funeral of the great-grandmother who died in a horrid, work-related accident last week in San Leandro"  
by Tom Abate from "San Leandro Patch" []: An eight piece band played at the funeral of Evangelina "Eva" Macias on Monday, as family, friends and co-workers congregated in St. Leander's Church to pay their last respects to the great-grandmother who died last Monday in a tragic, work-related accident. Macias, 66, was run over by a bulldozer at the Waste Management dump at the foot of Davis Street, where both she and the driver were veteran employees. The accident is being investigated. A Patch reader left the following comment on the story of the accident: "I was there when this happened and I want to say what a brave and strong woman she was. I was one of the first people to reach her and I spent 20 minutes with her at her side trying to render as much aid and comfort as possible. She was awake and interacting and responding to me the entire time I knelt by her as we waited for 'help'. Pure and absolute bravery from 'Eva'. "I knew her for 20 minutes, and under circumstances hard to possibly imagine. "I try constantly to overide my nightmare-like flashbacks with the extreme courage and dignity she showed. She was incredible. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends. Sincerely, Julie Rushing-Nelson."

2013-06-20 "Bulldozer crushes San Leandro recycling worker"
by Vivian Ho from "San Francisco Chronicle" []:
A 66-year-old woman died after a bulldozer crushed her while she directed traffic at a Waste Management Inc. recycling plant in San Leandro, authorities said Tuesday. Alameda County firefighters responded to the plant on Davis Street at about 3 p.m. Monday after the bulldozer ran over Evangelina Macias of San Leandro, crushing her legs and hips, fire officials said. She died at a hospital Monday night.
Macias had worked at the plant for almost 13 years, said plant spokeswoman Karen Stern. She was in charge of directing the public to the proper drop-off areas, and was wearing a bright yellow vest and hardhat when the bulldozer hit her.
Stern said the bulldozer driver has been a plant employee for 22 years. He was placed on paid administrative leave. "He's distraught," Stern said. "It's devastating. It's a 22-person department. They're very close-knit." The incident is under investigation by Cal/OSHA, said agency spokesman Peter Melton. Since 2009, the Waste Management plant in San Leandro has had four Cal/OSHA investigations into its operations, two for health issues and two for safety. State officials did not have details of the incidents Tuesday but said that all four have been closed.
The last injury in Macias' department occurred six years ago, Stern said. "Their commitment to safety and one another was really important to all of them," she said. "It's shocking, to say the least. It's a horrible accident."

2013-06-19 “San Leandro dump worker dies after being hit by front-end loader”
from “KTVU Channel 2” []:
Woman run over by bulldozer at San Leandro landfill (Raw NewsChopper 2 footage from scene of San Leandro dump accident)

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — Family and co-workers of a traffic director at a Bay Area Waste Management plant were in mourning Tuesday after she died from injuries caused by being run over by heavy machinery. Grief counselors were on site Tuesday at the Waste Management Facility in San Leandro after Evangelina “Eva” Macias, a 13-year employee at the landfill, died after being crushed by a front-end loader during business hours and in front of co-workers Monday. Cal OSHA says Macias was directing traffic at around 3 p.m. when the driver of a front-end loader struck her. The driver told investigators he didn't see her. She was airlifted to Highland Hospital where she died later that night. “It's hard to take in because of how it happened, it’s still surreal,” said Macias’ daughter Maria. “I kind of don't want to believe it happened.” Maria and her sister Anna were still in shock Tuesday afternoon that their mother Eva was gone. She was 66 years old and described as an active, outgoing woman who loved traveling and going to the gym. Her daughters said she loved her job as a traffic director at the Waste Management Facility in San Leandro. “She was always very careful, very smart very smart,” said Maria. A Waste Management spokeswoman said the driver of the front-end loader has worked there for 22 years and has a clean record. After the accident, he was placed on paid administrative leave. “It's a loss we all feel and it's something we're touched by,” said Karen Stern, Waste Management spokesperson. “We send our condolences to her family and we hope that we can do anything we can to help them through this period.” The agency says only 22 people work in that division and it is a very tightknit group that was well aware of safety on the job. Surveillance cameras captured video of the incident. Waste management and Cal OSHA were both investigating the incident Tuesday, and Macias' daughters said Tuesday that they were still waiting for answers. “We don't know all the details, I don't want to assume -- I have to get all the details first,” said Maria Macias.

2012-06-18 "Eva Macias, 66, hit and killed by machinery near San Leandro"
by Justin Schneider []:  Police say a female worker died Monday after being hit by a piece of heavy machinery in San Leandro. According to the Alameda County Fire Department, an unidentified employee was operating a bulldozer at Waste Management, located at 2615 Davis Street. Some time after noon, the bulldozer hit Evangelina “Eva” Macias, 66, of San Leandro, a co-worker, as she directed traffic. Investigators say Ms. Macias suffered massive trauma to her lower body. Paramedics rushed her to a nearby hospital, but doctors were unable to save her. It is unclear whether the California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the incident. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, the state was home to 14,878 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in 2009. The California Department of Industrial Relations reports that 301 workers were killed by occupational injuries in 2009. If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form [].

1 comment:

  1. Waste management and recycling, specifically, are attempts to preserve the environment and protect all living things. And as the environment is continuously being threatened by massive waste production, recycling is hoped to be a global endeavor.
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