·  USW

USW Statement on Latest Gulf Oil Platform Explosion

Gary Beevers, USW International Vice President, o) 409-838-1972
Lynne Baker, USW Communications, o) 615-831-6782, c) 615-828-6169

Beaumont, Texas—United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Gary Beevers issued the following statement concerning the explosion and fire of an offshore petroleum platform in the Gulf of Mexico today:

“We are thankful that no one was killed in the explosion today of an offshore petroleum platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, one person was injured and that is one person too many.

“This latest explosion shows that we need to make sure all these rigs in the Gulf are safe to operate before we put personnel back to work on them. I would hate to see a worker killed in our haste to reopen the Gulf to drilling. We need to give the government adequate time to do its inspections and ensure adequate health and safety provisions are in place.

“Meanwhile, adequate assistance needs to be given to offshore workers and the businesses impacted by the moratorium that resulted from the BP explosion and oil spill.

“We find it ironic that the explosion happened one day after the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry’s trade association, held a rally in Houston, Port Arthur and Corpus Christi, Texas, to lift the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf. Instead of holding political protests, the API and the industry should be helping the government ensure all the rigs are safe to operate so the moratorium can be removed sooner.

“We want drilling to return to the Gulf just like everyone else in the industry, but we have to make sure these rigs are safe first. We don’t need another oil explosion and oil spill.”

The USW is the largest industrial union in North America and has 850,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. It represents workers employed in metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, atomic energy and the service sector.

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