The head of the union
that represents Rocky Flats workers said he was saddened
by the verdict Tuesday that went against employees who
were sickened by beryllium at the plant.
"It's a shame that the manufacturer has been let off
the hook and that nobody is liable," said Tony DeMaiori,
the president of United Steel Workers' Rocky Flats
DeMaiori was critical of Colorado's workers
compensation system, which he said should have been
quicker to compensate the beryllium victims. A better
law might have made a suit unnecessary, he said.
The workers developed the lung disease by breathing
toxic dust. At least 119 workers have the disease, but
many more could develop symptoms later in life.
"This is killing them. They're carrying oxygen
bottles," DeMaiori said.
The beryllium workers will be among those compensated
up to $150,000 for diseases developed at nuclear-weapons
plants under a program that begins in July. Also covered
are Rocky Flats workers who developed cancer through
contact with plutonium.
On July 19, the U.S. Department of Labor will hold
meetings with workers to explain the program.
Sessions are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the
Double Tree, 8773 Yates Drive, Westminster, near the
Sheridan Boulevard interchange on U.S. 36.
The government will open an office by the end of July
to help workers fill out the paperwork.
Ray Malito, a 30-year Rocky Flats veteran, will head
The office will be at 8758 Wolff Court, Westminster,
Suite 210, Westminster, also near the Sheridan Boulevard