Bernie Banton Case. Mega Poor Can Fight Mega Rich
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 29, 2007
What do many wealthy and powerful so-called spiritual organizations have in common with corporations?
Vested Religious Interests Cover up Like Any Other
When it comes to profound cover ups and gross desertion of duty of care, groups like the Sathya Sai Organization and the Roman Catholic Church (until the latter was forced to admit liability) act just as the James Hardy company in Australia has acted. With the worst lies, evasions and the utmost lack of compassion and responsibility.
But Bernie Banton, increasingly sick with asbestosis, a killer disease of which the James Hardy company had secretly known since the 1930’s, nobly fought – right up until his death two days ago – against the company’s relentless
His spirit of forgiveness also showed that being magnanimous should not be confused with refusal to act in the face of evil.
Warrior Bernie Banton, Rest in Peace!
The Australian. November 27, 2007
Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd said Mr Banton would be remembered as a fighter.
“Australia is going to be poorer for Bernie’s passing – our whole nation will be poorer for Bernie’s passing,” Mr Rudd said. He became a symbol, a living symbol of what is right and decent and proper in the workplace relations of this country. Mr Rudd said he had phoned Mr Banton’s widow Karen this morning and said he and wife Therese would attend his funeral. Mr Rudd said Mr Banton’s achievements would serve as a warning to companies to respect their workforces. My message to the country is this – working people are not economic commodities, working people are human beings and working people therefore deserve and demand respect, care and attention in whatever their workplace is,” Mr Rudd said.
In February 2007, a multi million dollar fund was set up by the James Hardie company to pay compensation to people with asbestos illness. This was a big step in a very long campaign to get help for many thousands of people who have been made ill by asbestos products … Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950s until the 1970s. Around one in three domestic dwellings constructed in Australia before 1982 is thought to contain asbestos.
James Hardie had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos from at least the 1930s but no warnings or directions were placed on Hardie’s fibro until 1978.
(Andrew Denton Show, ABC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
At great cost to his deteriorating health, Bernie Banton has been the face of the James Hardie compensation case. For the last five years, in his own words, he’s been, “dragged through a pit of hell by a mob of bottom feeders”. In doing so, he’s been a constant reminder of what is really at issue here – the dreadful legacy of the asbestos industry and its all too human toll. Please welcome Bernie Banton and his wife Karen.
See links for BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and DR’s ‘Seduced’ footage at end of article, The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision