March 03, 2017

Warren, Murray, Sanders Call on DOJ to Open Criminal Investigation into Federal Contractor VT Halter Marine's Repeated Workplace Deaths and Injuries

Senators' Letter Comes as GOP Seeks to Repeal Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule Requiring Federal Contractors to Disclose Labor Violations

Text of the letter available here (PDF)

Washington, DC - In a letter sent today to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for a criminal investigation into the deaths and injuries of workers for federal contractor VT Halter Marine Inc. at their Mississippi shipyards. Despite repeated horrific accidents and penalties assessed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), VT Halter has continued to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

"OSHA fines are clearly not a sufficient deterrent for VT Halter," the senators wrote. "In order to bring justice to the injured workers and the families of those who have died as a result of VT Halter's recklessness, as well as to deter further wrongdoing that may cause more tragedies, we strongly urge the Department of Justice to launch an investigation of VT Halter and its leadership, and, if sufficient evidence of criminal conduct is uncovered, to prosecute such wrongdoing to the fullest extent of the law."

The letter from Warren, Murray, and Sanders was sent a day after Senate Republicans advanced legislation to repeal the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule requiring federal contractors to disclose previous violations of labor law.

A PDF copy of today's letter is available here.