Former workers should be heard
I recently wrote an opinion letter that was not published to the Fort Mill Times. In the letter I spoke of Continental Tires appalling legal move in an asbestosis lawsuit to require its former employees to submit their body’s at death for an autopsy to prove that they had asbestosis. The letter also criticized Lancaster county politicians, the economic development board, and local charities for their participation in Continental Tires donations and of these groups’ participation in building up a positive public image for Continental Tire.
Asbestosis is a breathing disorder caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Prolonged accumulation of these fibers in your lungs can cause scarring of lung tissue and shortness of breath. My father, who worked at Continental’s Charlotte facility for over 26 years, has been diagnosed by two doctors as having asbestosis. Perhaps the Fort Mill Times didn’t believe me when I said that Continental Tire would stoop so low as to ask that surviving relatives be put through the anguish of their loved one’s body being destroyed, dismantled, and desecrated through an unnecessary autopsy.
None of these people in this lawsuit have a voice in their community. None of them have a marketing department that can muster up local officials to beat their drum. None of them can donate thousands of dollars in tires to local municipalities or volunteer fire departments. None of these former employeescan donate to local boys and girls clubs or the Alive at 25 program. Ask yourself this: should a charitable organization accept the offer of a company that would go to these lengths to get a legal leg up on its elderly and unhealthy former employees, and should local politicians play a part in building a positive image for a company that would do this?