August 9th, 2011|
August 8, 2011
Several former employees of the utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), have come forward to tell the public about how the company ignored repeated warnings of safety hazards concerning the integrity of gas lines throughout San Bruno, California, prior to an explosion last year that killed eight people, injured dozens, and left 55 home uninhabitable.
A gas-crew welding foreman told The Oakland Tribune, he missed out on high-paying overtime hours after telling the company’s Manager of Investigations of “potentially explosive gas leaks” and falsified records. The Manager of Investigations was subsequently laid off after taking the findings of unfixed gas leaks, which were claimed to be fixed or to not exist at all, to PG&E higher-ups. He sued PG&E for wrongful termination in 2008, but the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum days after the filing was made.
A union safety official was also threatened with his job by PG&E executives after bringing to light dangerous working conditions for employees of the company. Allegedly, two PG&E supervisors detained him in a hotel room overnight, threatened to fire him, and made him submit to a psychiatric exam. According to a lawsuit filed against PG&E, he was found to be “mentally fit, except for anxiety that was attributable to his having been severely mistreated by PG&E.”