1,000 signatures reached
To: Foam seating plant owners of America
Poisoned at my job in the auto industry
Provide breathing tests for all workers in your foam seating plants and fund all costs associated with those tests. In addition, take steps to ensure that foam seating plant workers do not continue to be exposed to the harmful chemical known as TDI.
Why is this important?
I work at a plant in Selma, Alabama, operated by Renosol, a car parts manufacturer. We make foam for seats that are installed in Hyundai vehicles. Recently, NBC News ran a story about years of safety problems at our plant that have made me and many of my co-workers sick. Read it here: http://nbcnews.to/1jHg6vQ
The current round of problems started on May 1, when workers at my plant in Selma were evacuated because of a chemical leak. When I arrived at work, management admitted there had been a leak. They put a “diaper” on the leak—some old rags and plastic—but said a more permanent repair would have to wait until Sunday.
Even though workers said they were getting sick from the fumes, we still had to work all day Thursday and Friday. Some people even had to work a 12-hour shift on Saturday. The alarm went off again the next day, and several more times since. OSHA—the federal agency that protects worker safety and health—has been in the plant several times conducting a full investigation. Still, the company refuses to admit anything is wrong.
If you're one of the 35,000 workers in the U.S. who work in a foam plant, you already know the chemicals I'm talking about are called isocyanates—chemicals that go by names like TDI and MDI—and that they are widely known to cause asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic health issues.
But did you know that it's possible to actually stand up and make our employers pay attention to how TDI and MDI affects our lives?
My co-workers and I got sick and tired of waiting for Hyundai and Lear to clean up our plant. We stood together and took our story to the public and the local press. We called in federal health and safety regulators, who have started an inspection of our plant. And we're not stopping there. We won't stop until our plant is safe and we feel our health issues have been addressed.
When workers take the courageous step to speak out against dangerous and unhealthy work conditions--like we did--it can spark changes that go far beyond the walls of our own plant. For example, in August OSHA announced that, because of a higher-than-expected number of safety complaints, it is launching a program to inspect every auto supplier in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Read story here: http://www.autonews.com/article/20140804/OEM01/140809941
As much as we want to change working conditions here in Selma, we know the problem is bigger than just our plant. Every person in the foam seating industry should be able to work without fear of developing a chronic illness from their job. By signing this petition, you'll help show the auto industry that workers in communities and plants across America demand action.