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Metal Trades Dept. Calls for Oversight Hearings Into Operations of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP)
Date:4/28/2008

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department (MTD) is calling for congressional oversight hearings to investigate the failure of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP) to provide adequate benefits to nuclear weapons workers and survivors victimized by radiation or exposure to toxic agents in their work environment. MTD President Ron Ault charged that the program--designed to compensate the victims of nuclear exposure in Department of Energy nuclear research and development projects from the mid-

1940s through the present-- has:

-- Wasted more than one-third of its multi-billion dollar allocation on

top-heavy administrative costs;

-- Splintered operations and responsibilities among several agencies;

-- Frustrated claimants and survivors with drawn-out and faulty

claims-processing;

-- Imposed an impossible burden on victims to verify claims rather than the

government;

-- Relied on nonexistent or inadequate government records; and

-- Ignored a congressional mandate to report the massive burden of

occupational disease among these workers; and

-- Failed to recommend standards for preventing future cases.

"It's shameful to see how the highest ideals of the sponsors of this legislation have been hijacked by a bureaucracy intent on evading responsibility and avoiding justice," declared Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault. "Congress directed that the government should provide equity and relief to the workers who became sick as a result of their service to the nation during a time of national need. Instead, the bureaucracy has built a maze of rules and arbitrary barriers designed to frustrate legitimate claims."

"During the era of the Cold War, thousands of men and women worked selflessly, putting what they were told was the national interest ahead of their personal
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SOURCE Metal Trades Department AFL-CIO
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