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Aug-02-2009 16:54printcomments

Injured Workers & Advocates National Statement on Downey Toxic Dump Scandal And The Cover-up

Injured Workers And Injured Workers Advocates Call For Congressional Hearings With Injured Workers Testifying.

Downey Studios: what many call the Downey Toxic Hell Hole
Downey Studios: what many call the Downey Toxic Hell Hole

(DOWNEY, Calif.) - The exposure of serious illnesses caused by the privatized former military industrial complex in Downey, California is unfortunately not a unique situation.

Film workers from IATSE, Laborers and SAG as well as hospital workers who are members of the SEIU at the Downey Kaiser Hospital complex have been seriously injured as a result of the lack of proper clean-up and in what we believe is a cover-up by the developer Stuart Lichter.

The national privatization of US Federal toxic and radioactive dump sites and former military industrial sites including military bases has become a hidden national scandal.

Workers and people living in communities on and around these bases and former toxic dump sites have become contaminated and sickened by the failure of the Federal government government to enforce the clean-up and properly supervise it.

Instead under the "Brownfield" scheme, these sites have been turned over to private developers like Stuart Lichter with the promise that these sites will be "cleaned up" properly.

The main goal of these developers is to put these sites into use as soon as possible to make a large profit. As we all know, cities and communities around the country who face very difficult economic conditions want to develop these sites for business and taxes.

This however must not be done over the dead bodies of children, workers and members of the community.

Although Senators Boxer, Feinstein and Los Angeles area Congressman Henry Waxman have been contacted many times and provided with extensive information about the danger of the Downey toxic/radioactive dump site they have refused not only to meet with the affected workers but to call any hearings and investigations about the failure of this national privatization program of toxic/radioactive dump sites.

We, the following publicly call for Congressman Waxman to meet with the injured workers and to prepare and carry out US Congressional hearings in the Los Angeles area not only on the Downey toxic site but also how this living nightmare at these sites has been allowed to fester for many years around the country.

We also call for Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein to call hearings in the Senate as well.

Finally we call on Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey who is subcommittee chair on the Workplace safety and Congressman George Miller who is chair of the Congressional committee on Education and Labor to also call hearings with testimony from injured workers around the country about the failure of the Federal and State government to properly supervise the health and safety protection of workers and veterans on these sites.

These workers have contacted OSHA but OSHA has refused to do it's job in protecting the health and safety of these workers.

Leonard Martin, Injured Downey Studio Worker former Executive Board IATSE 4 Gail Shephard, Injured Kaiser Downey SEIU UHW Member Dr. Ahimsa Sumchai Porter, San Francisco Dina Padilla, Injured Kaiser Worker and CA Director Of VOICES/BEST, Citrus Heights, California Sharon Kramer, Injured Worker Escondito, California Carol Long, Injured Worker Poway, California Joe Bennett Steve Basile, Injured Worker Downey Studio Mary Trent, Cuyahoga Falls Ohio Steve Zeltzer, CCWMD San Francisco, California

(Editor's note: We are very pleased to see this release, the problems in Downey have been long and costly. I grew up adjacent to Downey, California and then served as a Marine at the highly toxic El Toro Marine Air Station. To say that the problems involving toxic waste at military facilities all over the nation is paramount, is no exaggeration.)

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Skye Basile September 15, 2009 6:54 pm (Pacific time)

My husband is one of the injured workers from Downey Studios. He started while working there with flu like symptoms. The workers noticed that about two weeks after a new worker started he would have the same flu like symptoms. Weeks after my husband worked there he started getting bloody noses, diarrhea, hands go through cycles peeling like a snake, moments of loss of memory, nasal infections, etc. No one wants to take responsibility for the effects all these injured workers are getting. For other people who have effects and want to talk to someone contact Steve Zeltzer Chair California Coalition For Workers Memorial Day (415)867-0628

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.