Fair treatment for HAMTC

December 26, 2012 


Recent negotiations with the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council include proposals for pay reductions, loss of and increased costs for benefits, mandatory overtime and loss of seniority.

Looking at ways to save taxpayer money is a good idea; taking shortcuts for Hanford cleanup is not.

As an exempt Hanford worker, I know the highly skilled union workers are the ones who do the "real work" with dangerous contaminants, and they make up less than 25 percent of the work force.

Exempt staff, including management, make up the majority, and a large percentage have higher base salaries than HAMTC workers.

It seems that recognizing the training and risk for our "cleanup workers" is disturbingly lacking -- and retaining our trained and knowledgeable work force is not desired.

Savings in salaries should first start by reducing some exempt salaries, eliminating high dollar subcontractors and looking at efficiencies with overhead staff and management (including reduction).

With mandatory overtime, we are inviting a new hazard, a fatigued radiological worker. Something as simple as turning the wrong valve in the wrong direction could prove hazardous for us all.

Let's pay our HAMTC workers an equitable salary, protect their welfare and provide benefits commensurate with the hazardous work. Likewise, contractors should find other cost-saving measures.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service