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Midland Workers Shut Up

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A sinall group of workers who carne to the SL'N with charges against the ('onsumer's Power nuclear station being built at Midland have ref'uscd to talk to the Atoniic Energy Comrriission (ALO. Once confinned, the charges could halt construction ot' the plant, hut an AEC official in Chicago said there was "very little" cliance of a successful investigation if tlie workers did not talk directly to the A FC. "We're ready to stand up for what's rtght," one of the workers said Monday night, "but we're not ready to be martyrs. We just don't trust the man." The man in ,this case happens to be both Consumer's and the AEC. The workers eame to the SUN with allegations concerning quality control testing at the plant site in early November, but dêspite the AEC's promise of anonymity have never gone to the regulatory agency. In recent conversations the workers have indicated, not only that they are in fear of losing their jobs, but also that they think the AEC will be sceptical of their testimony. An AEC investigator in Chicago expressed disappointment. "Both these workers and 1 have a responsibility to pursue this matter," he said. "U's not necessary for them to prove - their allegations. That's our job, to confirm the allegations or determine that we can't." The SUN will continue its efforts to persuade the workers to talk to the AHC. but no results are expectcd until January. According to the AEC official, a delay of a few weeks will not damage the result of a successful investigation. "Some of us have gone to our supervisors with sword and shield." the worker said of attempts to bring quality control problem to the attention of the site management. "We've gone to them because we knew we had to, because we knew wc , wete riglit and they've just slammed us to the ground. They've just double-talked and ran us around in a chele when we've tried to teil them whut's wrong. "There's a lot of shit underlying all this," he said of the mood on the constraction site. Most workers at the site are being laid off before the New Year because of Consumet's financial difficuliies. "What with Dow saying it would move out of Midland if the nuclear plant didn't go in, there's so much fear and distrust you don't know how to protect yoursclf. Everything's at cross purposes," the worker said.