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In Wake of Lac-Magantic Train Inferno, Anger Turns Toward Profit-Hungry 'Rail Empire'


Business  (tags: Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Petroleum, Oil spill, explosion, 20 dead recovered, 30 possible dead/missing, corporate greed/irresponsibility, deregulation, news sources, tragedy, sadness, anger, Montreal Maine & Atlantic RR )

Judy
- 678 days ago - commondreams.org
Families of those still missing told to expect the worst as anger rises against company behind disaster. "It was all about cutting, cutting, cutting. It's just an example of putting company profits ahead of public safety." (former MMA employee)



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Comments

Rose Becke (295)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 11:10 pm
I would do the same Thanks Judy
 

Beverly T. (82)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 11:13 pm
A perfect example of the ethical decay of profit making in today's world. It is as much a cancer that needs to be cured as those which grow within our bodies and the cure is just as baffling for this as the other too.
Money IS needed, money can also buy nice things but HOW MUCH MONEY DOES ONE NEED ????
You just need enough.
Beyond that it is indeed a sickness.
 

Sue H. (1)
Friday July 12, 2013, 4:10 pm
This man insulted the people of Lac Megantic. He walked into a Quebec town and spoke in English. Too tight fisted to even hire a translator. Most residents in Lac Megantic are French speaking. He waited days before arriving and had blamed the firefighters that put out a fire in the engine of the same train in Nantes for the disaster. Seriously two problems with the same train?

He does not seem to care about anything except how much money he is losing because of his company's negligence, which he refuses to admit. He even joked that he was not wearing a bullet proof vest and hoped he would be safe. This disaster has dominated our news for the last week. Residents of Lac Megantic were burned alive in their beds! Burned alive in their bar and people further away from the downtown core were knocked off their feet by the blast as the tankers exploded.

30 buildings were burned to the ground. The downtown core is gone. During the fire it looked like a war zone instead of a sleepy Canadian small town. Approximately 60 people have died and some bodies may never be found as the fire was so intense.
 

Madhu Pillai (22)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 1:49 pm
Always the profits before people, 21st century creed.
 

Arlene Morrison (1)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 2:41 pm
This guy should be looking at a corporate manslaughter charge.fI those at the top are paid obscene amounts of money they should carry the can when a disaster happens on their watch!
 

Eternal Gardener (753)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 2:55 pm
This is a shining example of why corporations shouldn't have as much power as they have! No emotions and subsequently no responsibility taken...who do we turn to...no one seems to listen. If we don't take power into our own hands we are doomed for sure. Revolt any way you can if this is not the kind of world you want to bring your children into!
 

Birgit W. (156)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 5:33 pm
Our corporations don't give a damn about us, all what counts for them is their money. My heart goes out to all the people living in Lac-Mégantic.
 

Lois Jordan (59)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 6:25 pm
This is just terrible! My sympathy to the citizens of Lac-Megantic. I really hope justice is brought to those at fault....jail time, and an enormous amount of money for the cleanup and people hurt.
 

GGmaSheila D. (174)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 12:39 am
And we should be surprised why?? Cutting costs and employees is not always good business as was found out, much to the sadness of the townspeople. So very sad that it has taken something so devastating but it is a good example of what will keep happening in this day of Big Corporate economics. Also sad to say, this Burkhardt (sp??) will probably get out of it with a fine and a handslap.
 

june t. (66)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 12:53 am
The boss was trying to blame an employee, but he himself was responsible. How typical.

".......as the Toronto Star reports, that kind of cost-cutting by Burkhardt implemented at MMA in Quebec and Maine resulted in warnings from employees that safety had been put in jeopardy:

When he took over the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway in 2003, [Burkhardt] cut employee wages by 40 per cent according to a company history in the Bangor Daily News.

There were more layoffs and cuts in expenditures in 2006 and again in 2008.

The company also announced plans “to improve safety and efficiency” by cutting its locomotive crews in half, replacing two workers with a single employee.

That prompted at least one veteran engineer to quit the company in part over his fears for safety.

Jarod Briggs, who had worked on railways since 1998, told the Star he left MMA in 2007 because he thought leaving only one engineer in charge of a train — as happened in Lac-Mégantic — was too risky.

“If you have two people watching you can catch a mistake,” he said in a phone interview from his home in Maine. “It was all about cutting, cutting, cutting. It’s just an example of putting company profits ahead of public safety.”

Briggs, who used to work on the company’s routes into Canada, said he was dismayed but not entirely surprised by the disaster in Lac Mégantic."
 
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