Posted February 21, 2013 at 8:00 am, in Videos
Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’
Posted February 4, 2012 at 8:00 am, in Videos
China’s Foxconn houses employees who work 35-hour shifts at 31 cents an hour, thereby making all the more money for American technology companies.
Posted February 2, 2012 at 8:00 am, in Videos
Stephen Colbert has started a SuperPAC to mock the campaign spending free-for-all unleashed by Citizens United. He turned it over to fellow comedy show host Jon Stewart during a brief run for President of the United States of South Carolina. Now, Colbert wants the money back.
Posted May 20, 2011 at 8:00 am, in Videos
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show takes down Bill O’Reilly of The O’Reilly Factor for his criticism of President Obama’s invitation to the artist Common to perform at the White House.
Posted May 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm, in From USW International Officers
By Gary Beevers
USW International Vice President for Oil Bargaining
A little after midnight on Good Friday last year a heat exchanger on a naphtha hydrotreater unit at the Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes, Washington catastrophically failed. The unit exploded, setting off a blast that shook homes five miles away and igniting a fire that could be seen anywhere in Anacortes. Three oil workers died in the blast; four others died at the hospital from injuries sustained in the accident.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) said the explosion was preventable. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) reported that Tesoro failed to adequately maintain the nearly 40-year-old heat exchanger and that microscopic cracks had built up, making a rupture possible.
Companies need to “make the investments necessary to ensure safe operations,” said CSB Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso to the press. “Companies that continue to invest in safety and recognize its importance will reap benefits far into the future.”
L&I Director Judy Shurke told reporters “The bottom line is that this incident, this explosion and these deaths were preventable,” as she cited the company for 44 safety violations and issued a record $2.39 million fine. (Tesoro is appealing the fine.)
The Anacortes explosion was certainly not the only accident in the oil sector last year. In just the months of April and May there were 13 fires, 19 deaths and 25 injuries in the oil industry. That includes, of course, the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and created one of the most devastating ecological disasters in history.
Our union has been working for years to pressure oil refiners to fix serious hazards and take real steps to improve refinery safety. We’ve suggested standards for reporting incidents at refineries to improve transparency and we’ve proposed standards to address fatigue and eliminate excessive overtime caused by companies not replacing a worker assigned to another job duty.
Our members have raised safety issues on the refinery floor, we’ve worked closely with fence line communities that are concerned with refinery safety, and we’ve taken these safety issues to Congress. Now it’s time for investors to weigh in on refinery safety because it impacts the bottom line.
This year, in collaboration with the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund, our union is presenting shareholder proposals at four major refining companies—Marathon, Valero, Tesoro, and ConocoPhillips. Our proposal calls on each company to:
“Prepare a report, within ninety days of the 2011 annual meeting of stockholders, at reasonable cost and excluding proprietary and personal information, on the steps the Company has taken to reduce the risk of accidents. The report should describe the Board’s oversight of process safety management, staffing levels, inspection and maintenance of refineries and other equipment.”
An identical report was filed at Sunoco, but it was withdrawn when the company agreed to fully comply with the request.
Marathon, Valero, Tesoro and ConocoPhillips opposed our resolution. After seven workers were killed, Tesoro said it was committed to safety so a report on their performance wasn’t necessary. Valero said it was already disclosing numbers on its total reportable incident rate (TRIR) so information on process safety, staffing, and inspection and maintenance was unnecessary. Valero also said that publishing a report would be too expensive.
Refining companies usually don’t mind providing the public with data on reportable injuries. The problem is that information provides a deceptive picture of refinery safety. BP’s Texas City Refinery posted an incredibly low reportable injury rate just before the 2005 explosion that killed 17 people and led to the biggest fines in OSHA history. Simply put, reporting slips, trips and falls doesn’t tell us anything about whether or not an explosion is likely to happen.
It’s exactly this type of failed logic that led Transocean to give its executives ”safety bonuses” for turning in the company’s ”best year” in safety in 2010. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission management actually said “…we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate. As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”
John Stewart from The Daily Show did a great job capturing the absurdity. He said:
“Okay that’s just crazy. You gave yourselves a safety bonus because statistically the Deepwater Horizon explosion, killing 11 people and pumping 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast counts the same as Bob cut his hand on a bolt—it’s just one incident.”
It’s worth pointing out that, out of embarrassment, the executives donated their safety bonuses to charities working to clean up the Gulf Coast.
The real information that we need to know — whether or not a refinery is running safely — is the information we asked for in our shareholder resolution: the Board’s oversight of process safety management, staffing levels, and inspection and maintenance of refineries and other equipment. To know whether or not there’s a risk of a deadly explosion, we need to know whether or not people at the top level of the company are directly involved in process safety; we need to know how much overtime people are working and what the risk of fatigue is; and we need to know whether or not the company is inspecting and maintaining its refineries.
I honestly don’t know if the bankers and billionaire stockowners care about whether or not oil workers die. But I do know that they care about making money. And blowing up refineries is bad for business. Not only do these accidents lead to months of downtime and cause insurance rates to go through the roof, they’re also bad for the public perception of our industry and drive down investor confidence.
So whether they’re doing it to save lives or just to protect their investments it’s time for investors to weigh in on refinery safety. Their profits, and our lives, depend on it.
Gary Beevers brought to the table extensive experience negotiating with major oil companies when the USW International Executive Board chose him to take charge of the union’s National Oil Bargaining program. After Beevers held numerous positions with his local union, the president of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) appointed him in 1987 to serve an international representative covering workers in the oil, chemical and paper industries as well the public sector. After OCAW and the United Paperworkers International Union (UPIU) merged for form the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy (PACE) workers union, Beevers was elected in 2003 as vice president and regional director of PACE Region Six. Following the PACE-USW merger, he became director of USW District 13.
Posted November 1, 2010 at 11:48 am, in From Robert Reich
By Robert Reich
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor at Berkeley
The true center of American politics isn’t found where most of us agree. We fiercely disagree. That’s not a problem. Democracy assumes disagreement.
The true center is about how we resolve those disagreements. Most of us believe we should work them out respectfully.
We don’t believe in winning political arguments through bullying, name-calling, lying, intimidating, or using violence.
In other words, the political center isn’t about what we decide; it’s about how we decide. A central tenet of American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.
That’s why some of what we’ve been witnessing recently is troubling.
Consider the foot-stomping incident in Kentucky by Rand Paul supporters, just outside a Senate debate. Or Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller’s security detail handcuffing a reporter from a liberal-leaning website. (more…)
Posted October 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm, in Videos
Daily Show host Jon Stewart interviewed President Barack Obama Wednesday night, eliciting laughs between tough questions. The President talks about audacity versus reality, the economy, transforming Washington D.C. and “change you can believe in” taking time to accomplish reasonably.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Barack Obama Pt. 1|
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c (more…)|
Posted October 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm, in From Our Allies and Partners
By Michael Brune
Author and Executive Director of the Sierra Club
Maybe you’ve heard: Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart is holding a “Rally to Restore Sanity” next week. His fellow satirist, Stephen Colbert, will be there, too, leading his “March to Keep Fear Alive.” This is all going down on the day before Halloween, right on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Jon Stewart’s not a politician (yet), but I suspect he’ll get more people — especially young people — thinking about how politics work (or don’t work) in this country than any elected official could. Stewart says the goal of his rally is to “take it down a notch for America.” Sounds reasonable. Of course, with Colbert around, you can be sure things won’t get too reasonable. This is the guy, after all, who once serenaded my predecessor, Carl Pope, with a suicidal black bear hand puppet.
I won’t be in D.C. that weekend (my kids care more about trick-or-treating than they do about some guys wearing suits on TV). But plenty of Sierra Club supporters will be there and to be sure they’re properly attired, we’re printing some t-shirts to mark the occasion. (more…)