Category Archives: Horror.Stories

Halliburton Cited in Iraq Contamination

Source: LARRY MARGASAK, The Associated Press, Monday, January 23, 2006; 4:12 AM

WASHINGTON — Water supplied to a U.S. base in Iraq was contaminated and the contractor in charge, Halliburton, failed to tell troops and civilians at the facility, according to internal documents from the company and interviews with former Halliburton officials. Although the allegations came from Halliburton’s own water quality experts, the company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney denied there was a contamination problem at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi.

W-2 contractor shuffle continues / Some worry clients, employees will suffer

Source: STEVE SCHULTZE, Journal Sentinel (WI), Jan. 23, 2006

When the Milwaukee Center For Independence backed away from its $10.4 million state contract to run Wisconsin Works welfare reform programs in part of Milwaukee late last year, it set off a chaotic musical-chairs game of changes that hasn’t stopped. The main contractor for W-2 job training will switch again on the city’s near north and northwest sides – for the third time in three years – with the last-minute substitution of a Denver-based firm. That means that some of the 30 subcontractors that have done much of the work also will likely change, triggering layoffs and uncertainty for those workers. And although state officials insist that no clients will be shortchanged during yet another transition, advocates fear some poverty-stricken W-2 clients will get neglected.

Sanitation workers threaten strike

Source: by Marcus Moore, Maryland Gazette, Jan 20, 2006

Nearly 100 Waste Management employees claim that the $13 billion Texas company wants to reduce their wages and eliminate their pension plan. Union officials said this week that if Waste Management does not back off its stance and submit a new contract proposal, then the employees, working from the Temple Hills branch, could go on strike.

Allied Waste trashed over poor service

By Dana Yates, San Mateo Daily Journal (CA), Jan 20, 2006

San Carlos resident Jan Smith doesn’t think it should take a college degree to take out the garbage, but every Monday she and her neighbors worry they’ll do something wrong and Allied Waste employees won’t pick up their trash or recycling. Garbage workers regularly pass up her and her neighbor’s garbage cans and recycling bins. During the recent rains, she placed recyclable paper in a cardboard box before putting it in the wet recycle bin. The garbage workers took the paper and threw the recyclable cardboard box in front of her house. In other cases, residents from Burlingame through Palo Alto are reporting missed and late pick ups. …. The main issue was Allied Waste’s lack of customer service and nearly 700 missed pick ups last year that were not corrected within 24 hours of a customer complaint. The company received 9,558 missed pick-up complaints last year. Of those, approximately 670 were not cleared within 24 hours, according to a report conducted by SBWMA. Allied Waste isn’t supposed to have more than 180 missed pick ups per year. Anymore than that can result in fines, according to the garbage contract renewed last year.

Investigation questions care at jail

Source: JOHN GHIRARDINI, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 01/19/06

Jail inmate Harriet Washington was the victim of a confused and clumsy medical response when she died in front of her cellmates, concluded a Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department investigation released Wednesday. ……The report raises questions, however, about the performance of Prison Health Services, the Tennessee-based company contracted to care for Gwinnett inmates. Deputies had urged that Washington be taken to the hospital, to no avail, the report states. ….. The county has a $4.8 million annual contract with Prison Health Services, which was renewed in September.

Crist urged to warn workers / Personnel data may have gone overseas

Source: By Bill Cotterell, Tallahassee Democrat (FL), Jan 18, 2006

Lawyers for state employees urged Attorney General Charlie Crist’s office Tuesday to make Convergys warn tens of thousands of state workers that their confidential personnel data – including Social Security and bank-routing numbers – may have been illegally sent to computer companies in India, China and Barbados. “When you close the barn door after the horse has escaped, that horse is personally identifiable data for thousands of state employees and their families,” said Alma Gonzalez, special counsel for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. “We’ve got to catch that horse.” …. People First is Gov. Jeb Bush’s biggest privatization project – a $350 million, nine-year contract for Convergys to provide online personnel services. The system has been haunted by big and small glitches for three years, but the Department of Management Services has recently said it is running much better.

State audit finds privatized payroll often late, wrong

Source: By POLLY ROSS HUGHES, Houston Chronicle (TX), Jan. 18, 2006, 12:34AM

AUSTIN – Health department staffers discovered overdrafts on their personal checking accounts last fall when a private payroll contractor missed deposit deadlines for 80 workers, according to a highly critical state audit released Tuesday. Other state workers reported that they didn’t get paid on time or they didn’t get paid correctly, including for overtime. But when the Texas Health and Human Services Commission stepped in to fix problems under a contract with the global billing services firm, Convergys Corp., new obstacles arose.

Kickbacks admitted in work for New Orleans / Subcontractor pleads guilty, says he paid official

Source: By Bruce Eggler, Times-Picayne (LA), Thursday, January 12, 2006

Federal prosecutors rang up another conviction Wednesday in their probe of a scheme to skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from a huge energy-efficiency contract awarded during former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial’s tenure at City Hall. Under an agreement with prosecutors, Michael Garnett, a subcontractor who did work under the $81 million Johnson Controls Inc. deal, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony for knowing about crimes related to the scheme but failing to inform authorities, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said. Garnett is the fifth subcontractor to enter a guilty plea related to the Johnson Controls contract, Letten said.

Investigation launched in school food incident

Source: By Dawn Marks, The Oklahoman, Jan 11, 2006

BETHANY – Western Oaks Middle School students were back in school Monday after being served food that was left out over the holiday break. In addition, Sodexho, the service company that provides food to the school, is investigating the incident to make sure it doesn’t happen again, company spokeswoman Stacy Bowman-Hade said. Some students became ill Thursday after eating hamburgers that were wrapped in foil and left in the food warmer Dec. 20, the last day of classes before break.

Sodexho to pay $61,000 to settle San Jose sex harassment case

Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal – 11:14 AM PST Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006

Sodexho Management Inc. has agreed to pay $61,000 to a custodian it employed at Agnew Development Center in San Jose who complained of sexual harassment by a male nurse, federal officials said Tuesday. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Gaithersburg, Md.-based Sodexho denied wrongdoing in the case but agreed to settle after voluntary mediation efforts. …. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Sodexho failed to investigate or stop the harassment, and they also retaliated against Sanchez for reporting it. The retaliation included tasking Ms. Sanchez with more difficult work, reducing her workload, and issuing disciplinary write-ups.