On 2017 Workers Memorial Day - KPFA WorkWeek Radio
|On 2017 Workers Memorial Day - OSHA, Culture Of Corruption, The Deep State & Tom Perez with OSHA Investigator Darrell Whitman
Darrell Whitman was an investigator and lawyer with the Department of Labor OSHA and the Whistleblower Protection Program. His job was to investigate the validity of complaints by workers who charged they had been retaliated against for making health and safety complaints. He would then issue a merit determination that would return the works to their jobs. Some of these workers were from the largest corporations in the world including Wells Fargo, FedEx, Lockheed Martin, PG&E, Test America and J.P. Morgan.
He was bullied and retaliated for doing his job and finally terminated after he accused former DOL secretary Tom Perez that there was a "culture of corruption" in the Department of Labor DOL. He believes that DOL Secretary Tom Perez, the Office of Special Counsel OSC and other officials in the government are in criminal collusion with the same companies that they are supposed to regulate and is calling for a special prosecutor and RICO investigation and prosecution against these officials. The regulatory capture by corporations of government agencies according to Darrell Whitman is endemic. He also talks about May Day 2017 and what workers need to do to protect their health and safety.
This interview was done for KPFA WorkWeek Radio on April 23, 2017.
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GAP Press Release-US House Committee Asked To Investigate Corruption In Department of Labor
PRESS RELEASE on the corruption in the US Department of Labor
January 25, 2017 by globalfaultlines
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
House Oversight Committee Asked to Investigate Corruption in Department of Labor
Washington, D.C. – January 24, 2017 – Tom Devine, Legal Director of the Government
Accountability Project, has asked the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate corruption in the Department of Labor.
In a letter, dated Monday, January 23, 2017, Devine directed the Committee’s attention “to a series of disclosures filed by Dr. Darrell Whitman regarding systematic mismanagement, violations of law and abuse of authority within OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program
(WBPP).” Whitman made these disclosures to the Office of Special Counsel, beginning in
November 2014 and filed a complaint with the OSC in May 2014.
Whitman was terminated in May 2015 after reporting “a culture of corruption to then Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and in while publicly speaking out about corruption in the Program.
Following Whitman’s termination, OSHA purged Region IX of three other attorney/ investigators who had been complained for years about OSHA mismanagement and abuse.
Devine spoke with the Committee’s minority staff members in November 2016 to discuss the situation, and during the meeting the staff requested the documents. The documents submitted by GAP included Whitman’s 16-page OSC complaint, his 220-page sworn affidavit supported by 400 exhibits, and more than a dozen affidavits and statements from other WBPP investigators, union officials, and whistleblowers who were denied protection by OSHA.
The letter noted Whitman’s disclosures included; the mismanagement of complaints concerning the falsification of asbestos tests, violations of FAA regulations governing aircraft maintenance and flight operations, violations of NRC regulations intended to protect the safe operation of nuclear power plants, violations of DOT regulations concerning the transport of hazardous materials and drivers operating trucks on the nation’s highways, and the fraudulent management of customer accounts by Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase.
Whitman urged GAP to make the submissions after learning Secretary Perez’s had abandoned his promised review of OSHA’s role in the Wells Fargo fraud cases. Whitman, who had been ordered to close two of these cases in 2010 without an investigation, and who handled a third case in 2012 which languished for four years without action, argued the failure of the Program presents a significant threat to the public’s safety, health, and financial security that needs to be thoroughly investigated and corrected.
Contact: Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project
Dr. Darrell Whitman: email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
4/27/2017 AFGE 2391 Steward Darrell Whitman Public Letter To AFGE President David Cox On 2017 Workers Memorial Day
April 27, 2017
J. David Cox
American Federation of Government Employees
Dear Brother Cox,
I wanted to take the opportunity of Workers Memorial Day to write you a follow up letter to my letter of last June. As you might recall, in that letter I told you about the years-long struggle by union stewards and employees in the Department of Labor to protect the rights of workers who reported significant risks to the nation’s safety, health, and financial security. It was a very expensive struggle for many of us, and by the end in 2015 Department of Labor senior administrators purged an entire section of the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program of investigators who openly objected to the corruption of the program.
During the five-year struggle with the Department of Labor, local AFGE union stewards performed heroically, often devoting their own time and resources to the fight. Sadly, the initial battle was lost in part because they didn’t have the active support of the national union leadership. When I asked for your help last year to support the continuing struggle for an independent, outside investigation of the corruption, you responded by tasking a member of AFGE’s national legal team to support the effort. Then in September, you secured a prominent role for the union in the investigation of the Whistleblower Protection Program’s role in the Wells Fargo national financial fraud scandal. However, neither initiative gained traction, and following the election Secretary Perez quietly closed the Wells Fargo investigation before it had begun.
The two lessons I learned since I my first letter are: first, political promises are mostly hollow, particularly when they concerning closely examining corruption in government; and second, the corruption we experienced in the Department of Labor is not an isolated case, but extends widely throughout the federal government. The two federal agencies designed to protect federal employees who report corruption - the Merit System Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel, are at best dysfunctional and at worst themselves a major source of government corruption. Their record of accepting and processing complaints by federal employees is abysmal, and they rarely protect federal employees and more commonly act to protect managers from accountability. This has led to a generally chilled atmosphere for federal employees and encouraged scofflaw managers to believe they are beyond accountability. This cannot continue without threatening the authority of the government itself.
The failure of the MSPB and OSC to do their jobs leaves the AFGE as the principal defender of federal workers and the public interest. It’s a formidable responsibility, but a responsibility that has been carried by organized labor for most of the last century. Also, because of the corruption in the Whistleblower Protection Program, the public is at great risk from preventable safety and health violations, and financial fraud. Protecting the public is a primary responsibility for our government, and federal employees are potentially the first responders to ensure that protection. My own experience is that the great majority are both willing and capable to provide that protection, but are often hamstrung by incompetent and/or self-serving managers and administrators. The question is, is AFGE ready, willing, and able to meet the challenge of protecting federal workers so that they can protect the public.
It’s rare that life gives us a second chance. But today, you have a second chance to not only join, but lead the call for Congress to authorize a special prosecutor to investigate wide-spread corruption in the federal regulatory system. This call is now being organized by the Government Accountability Project, supported by a growing national network of whistleblowers and their supporters. While the call is to investigate, the purpose of the call is to restore basic respect for workers and the public interest by recovering the integrity of our federal government. Every federal employee and every worker in the private sector, whether or not they are union members, are at increased risk of injury, death, and financial loss if workers who report potential risks are not protected. The call should be extended to all AFGE members, because they are the most directly aggrieved and have the most to gain if and when accountability is restored to the management of the federal government.
The chill wind of retaliation that is now blowing everywhere has been gathering speed over the last four decades, and will continue to blow and gain strength until and unless we act to stop it. As the evolving Wells Fargo story consumer fraud continues, it points to a culture of corruption in the corporate workplace exacerbated by corruption in the federal workplace. The cure for the corruption is already in place with federal statutes. But to be effective, these statutes must be enforced. If we are not a nation of law and equal justice under the law, we become a nation of self-interest and the corruption that follows. We must stand up for the American worker and the public interest now, and this is what GAP and the whistleblowers are doing with this call. Please see it as an opportunity for AFGE and organized labor more generally to exercise leadership. The American public is asking for it, and we can provide it if we choose.
So, please join with us to honor our history of representing the public interest by supporting the work of our union sisters and brothers on behalf of the public interest. In doing so, you will restore faith and trust in our federal government that has become seriously eroded.
Brother Darrell Whitman
Steward, AFGE Local 2391
AFGE Representative to the San Francisco, Central Labor Council
Johnny Burris J.P. Morgan Financial Advisor On Why He Became A Whistleblower & The Public
Johnny Burris was a J.P. Morgan financial advisor in Sun City Arizona who was illegally coerced by the bank to sell company owned financial instruments that were more costly to his clients. He challenged this and was fired and retaliated against for his whistleblowing. He discusses how top executives were aware of these illegal violation of banking laws and how this is a serious issue for the public.
This presentation was made at the 2017 Workers Memorial Day on April 27, 2017 in San Francisco.
It was sponsored by Injured Workers National Network
Production of Labor Video Project
Blowing The Whistle On Wells Fargo & J.P. Morgan Yesenia Guitron & Johnny Burris Speak Out On 2017 Workers Memorial Day
Yesenia Guitron who was was a teller at the Wells Fargo bank in St. Helena, California and Johnny Burris who was a J.P. Morgan Financial Advisor in Sun City Arizona both were bullied and terminated for blowing the whistle on criminal activity by these large national banks. They both also filed complaints to OSHA and OSHA stalled and refused to investigate in the the case of Yesenia Guitron. The government still refused to prosecute the managers and executives who were committing illegal activities and engaged in a RICO to cover-up their violation of banking, fraud and other violations of the law.
They spoke at the San Francisco Workers Memorial Day meeting at ILWU Local 34 and the meeting was sponsored by Injured Workers National Network IWNN.
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