“It’s honestly scary going to work because you’re not safe anymore”
Kentucky Ford worker describes hazardous working conditions
Keisha Gibbs and Marcus Day
14 November 2018
Nearly one year ago, on December 9, 2017, 41-year-old electrician Ivan Bridgewater III was found dead on a loading dock at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant, where he was working alone. After dragging out a six-month-long investigation, the Kentucky Department of Labor fined Ford Motor Company a paltry $37,800 for seven violations, six of them serious, relating to Bridgewater’s death.
Despite the token character of the fine, Ford Motor Company, which had pre-tax profits of $8.4 billion in 2017, contested the penalty in June, a practice which is routine. OSHA’s website still lists the violations as “under contest” almost five months later.
Ivan Bridgewater, the father of the deceased young man, posted a moving tribute to his son on November 3, the anniversary of his birthday. “This is a photo of my son, Ivan. Today would have been his birthday. He was killed eleven months ago at his workplace, the Ford auto plant, in Louisville, Kentucky. He was an awesome young man, and I was very proud of him. He was patient, kind, and respectful with me, and that’s not always easy. He loved his family, especially his wife and son. I miss him more than words can express. Parents should never outlive their children. The pain and loss never go away. Rest in peace buddy.”
The hazardous and intolerable situations, which make tragic and completely preventable deaths such as Ivan’s practically a regular occurrence only continue to worsen, a product of decades of collusion between the United Auto Workers union and the auto companies.
A worker at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant…