Hangman’s noose still potent weapon

TVA hangman’s noose still potent in workplace
July 6, 2009

I have heard from numbers of former TVA workers in the past five years but none a more heart rending and disappointing story coming from the federal government. He relates some of his tale below. I hope everyone stops a moment to read it. There is more, much more.

He called it the “TVA culture”, a culture not of pride of accomplishment and teamwork but one of a snobbish “we’ll do it my way or the highway” attitude. Add the elements of fear and intimidation.

Here is his story, in his own words to TVA management.

“New report recounts noose at Tenn. power plant

“My, my, my, another hangman’s noose was found at TVA. Could it be that the redneck clique at Kingston figured since you people went to such lengths to cover up the one at Bull Run that they could get away with it, too? Since the incident has been withheld from public knowledge for almost a year, they probably have gotten away with it. I guess nooses are becoming an approved management tool after all.”

“So, please tell me why in this incident TVA spokesman Gil Francis said Tuesday that managers warned employees in a memo that “this type of behavior would not be tolerated” and offered a $5,000 reward while mine was dismissed as “just a joke.” Please tell me why this incident was investigated by the OIG, but mine received no such attention. Please tell me why the other illegal activities I reported to you have never been investigated. I have written statements from participants in and a witness to the assault and battery committed on me, including one from a participant who wrote, “It happened as he described.” And yet, not only was this incident also covered up, but subsequent perjury by two of the participants has also received a free pass.”

“While I am asking questions, please tell me why TDEC and the EPA enforcement section never heard of the boiler doors incident at Bull Run in January 2006 that you personally assured me they were assessing.”

“Please tell me how you would feel if a hangman’s noose was left in your work area or if you were assaulted on the job and nothing was done about it. Tell me how you think your ancestors would feel about things such as this being covered up in a federal workplace. How do you feel about it? How would you feel if a member of your family was subjected to such treatment? Would you come forward with information for a mere $5000 when you knew from previous example of what TVA has done to others that you would be ending your career?”

“I am ashamed of what the TVA my father and I devoted our lives to has become.”

/s/ John Smith (Not his real name)

Hopefully, his complete story will be told and the guilty ones are duly punished.

Ernest Norsworthy