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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Freedom Tower glass "Made in China"


The Skyscraper Safety Campaign
9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims

Port Authority Abandons American Manufacturers -
Awards Contract for Critically Important Portion
of Freedom Tower Glass to China !
WHAT: Press Conference to urge Port Authority to use American Manufacturers and
Workmanship to produce high security glass for the Freedom Tower
WHEN: Tomorrow - Wednesday April 1, 2009
TIME: 9:45 A.M.
WHERE: Across from #7 WTC on Greenwich Street ( in vicinity of new PATH station entrance)
The Skyscraper Safety Campaign (SSC) is shocked and appalled to learn that glass for the Freedom Tower - the number one terrorist terror target in the United Sates - will be made in China rather than in the USA using American labor!
It is a well known fact that numerous Chinese products have inconsistent and questionable quality standards as seen in the major safety debacles & constant recalls involving lead in children's toys, contaminated toothpastes, tainted baby formula and pet foods, and most recently, contaminated drywall (gypsum board) used in home construction.
In addition to grave safety concerns, the use of Chinese glass in the Freedom Tower is a slap in the face to every hardworking American worker who has lost his or her job in this time of economic crisis. President Obama has called for jobs to remain in this country so that US citizens can remain gainfully employed. Was it a coincidence that the Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co. signed a lease for several floors in the Freedom Tower at the same time that their country received the multi million dollar contract to manufacture glass to be used in this building? Why were American glass companies - including one in Pennsylvania which has served this country's needs for over a century - denied this contract? Did the dropping of the name Freedom Tower have anything to do with these Chinese contracts?

It is undeniable that the Freedom Tower is an extremely sensitive building. The type and quality of glass is one of the most important considerations when designing a terrorism-resistant building. Glass shards have killed and maimed many people in previous terrorist blasts around the world. It is critical that the design and fabrication of the Freedom Tower glazing meet the highest possible quality standards. Does all of the glass for the Freedom Tower meet the standards of organizations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Department of Defense? Why were the Chinese selected for such a critical job at the expense of time-tested, high quality American manufacturing companies?

The SSC calls for the following immediate actions:

  • The SSC calls on our NY & NJ Congressional delegation to initiate a federal probe into the legality of the glass contract with China and to explore the relationship between the contract and the signing of the Freedom Tower lease with Beijing Vantone Co. Have any federal security laws been broken regarding sharing sensitive building specifications with foreign countries given the risks posed by the Freedom Tower's status as the nation's number one terrorist target?
  • The SSC calls on PANYNJ to explain why no American glass company received this contract, and to answer the question why American union workers have been overlooked.
  • The SSC calls on the PANYNJ to immediately void the Chinese glass contract & use USA products instead.
  • The SSC demands that the PANYNJ show the public exactly which standards were used to design the glass. The SSC further demands that the PANYNJ show the extent of blast-resistant glazing actually being proposed for the Freedom Tower - will the upper floors have blast-resistant glass or just the base of the building?
  • The SSC again calls on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to give up its exemptions and immunities to New York City's building and fire codes. "Memoranda of understanding" with the city are useless pieces of paper which offer no legal means of code enforcement, including building permits, certificates of occupancy, and vacate orders.

    Quite apart from the concerns about American jobs, etc., surely I am not the only one who remembers how many goods "Made in China" have been proven hazardous to the health of our children and our pets, AND ourselves.

    The insanity continues.