In yet another follow-up article regarding East Palestine, Ohio derailment, cleanup crews are getting ill. According to a union representative, they have been experiencing migraines and nausea. This is exactly what the residents of East Palestine have been experiencing.
Norfolk Southern (NS) railroad is represented by BMWED, which represents nearly 3,000 employees. Jonathan Long, a Norfolk Southern Railway employee for nearly 30 years and the general chairman of the American Rail System Federation of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED), made the claim in a letter (pdf) to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on March 1. The letter Long wrote charged the operator of the derailed train with disregarding the safety of workers dispatched to the site of the derailed train.
In the aftermath of the East Palestine derailment last month, 40 Norfolk Southern workers were ordered to assist in cleanup efforts. However, Norfolk Southern allegedly did not offer or provide the workers with appropriate personal protective equipment, such as respirators that are designed to allow them to safely work around vinyl chloride, protective eyewear, chemical restraint suits, rubber overboots, and rubber gloves intended for use around spilled chemicals.