BAE Systems

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BAE Systems is the largest arms manufacturer in Europe and the fourth biggest in the world. Registered in the UK, the company has annual military sales of $15bn. Products include fighter and trainer aircraft, warships, submarines, torpedoes, missiles, radar and tactical communications systems, artillery and ammunition. The company employs 90,000 people, 41,000 of whom are in the UK. The company was formed on November 30, 1999 with the merger of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems, which was made up of several divisions of GEC-Marconi in the UK and overseas.

The company has drawn heavy criticism, both for the use of its products to facilitate human rights abuses and corruption. Its Hawk jets alone have been sold to Brunei, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. The company is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office over allegations that the company kept a "slush fund" worth some £60m to bribe officials from Saudi Arabia. The company sells more to Saudi than to the UK Ministry of Defence.

In August 2004 BAE Systems completed its takeover of armoured vehicle manufacturer Alvis.

Access BAE Systems' corporate rap sheet compiled and written by Good Jobs First here.

Federal Contracting, OSHA Violations, and Opposition to Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order

A BAE Systems executive sits on the board of the Professional Services Council (PSC), a trade association. PSC is a major opponent of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, an order issued by President Obama in 2014 that aims to ensure that federal contractors comply with federal wage laws, health and safety standards, and civil rights laws.[1]

An investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy of OSHA inspection records found that numerous corporations (and/or their subsidiaries)--including BAE--whose executives sit on the board of PSC had been cited for serious and repeat violations of OSHA standards from 2013-2015 that would be reportable under the EO. A "serious" violation indicates "a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result" from a hazard, a "willful" violation is cited when "evidence shows either an intentional violation of the Act or plain indifference to its requirements," and a "repeat" violation indicates the business "has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition."[2]

In 2014 BAE generated £3.66 billion ($5.78 billion) in revenue from the U.S. Department of Defense, one of its three largest clients.[3] DeEtte Gray, President of BAE's Intelligence and Security Sector, sits on PSC's Board of Directors.[4]

As described in detail below, between 2013-2015, BAE or its subsidiaries received 13 "Serious" and 8 "Other-than-Serious" OSHA citations and $103,345 in penalties.[5]

BAE Systems subsidiaries operate numerous shipyards, at least two of which have separately been cited for numerous OSHA violations over the last three years alone.

BAE Systems, Inc.
04/16/2013[6] Following an investigation in response to a complaint, OSHA cited BAE Systems, Inc at a manufacturing site in York, Pennsylvania for 2 "Serious" violations and penalties of $8,500 for violating provisions of OSHA's comprehensive standard to protect workers from exposure to cadmium, a known cancer-causing substance.[7] The violations including requirements for collecting and handling biological samples and for training workers. In an informal settlement, these were reduced to 1 "Serious" and 1 "Other-than-Serious" violation, though the penalties were sustained.
01/20/2015[8] OSHA cited BAE Systems, Inc. at the company's Norfolk Shipyard for 1 "Other-than- Serious" violation and an initial penalty of $5,000 for violating the standard for reporting to the government fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye as a result of work-related incidents. In an informal settlement the penalty reduced to $3,750. [See below for additional violations by a BAE subsidiary at the Norfolk shipyard.]
02/26/2015:[9] In a planned inspection at the Army Strategic Logistic Activity Center in Charleston, SC, BAE Systems, Inc. was initially cited for 1 "Serious" violation which was reduced in a formal settlement to 1 "Other-than-Serious" violation for failing to ensure that employees were adequately trained to render first aid. The initial fine of $2,295 was sustained. The case remains open.[10]
02/06/2014[11] Following a planned inspection at a BAE Systems, Inc. site in Cordova, AL, the company was fined $2,250 and cited for 1 "Serious" violation of the OSHA standard for the storage and protection of oxygen-fuel cylinders used in gas welding and cutting. In an informal settlement the violation was reduced to 1 "Other-than-Serious" and the penalty to $1,350.
BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama, Mobile, AL
This 432-acre site provides direct access to and from the Gulf of Mexico and major shipping lanes and offers dry-dock and heavy-lift capacity for the largest ships trading in and around the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico region, including those from commercial fleets, cruise ships and vessels that serve the U.S. defense cargo market.[12]
2013 Drowning Death
On April 3, 2013, 64-year-old John R. Johnson and another BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama, LLC employee at its Mobile, Alabama shipyard were thrown into the Mobile River after the pier they were standing on was hit by the Carnival Triumph cruise ship after it broke loose from its moorings.[13] One worker survived, but Johnson's body was found days later after a massive search.[14][15]
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident, and in a Marine Accident Brief issued on January 23, 2014, concluded "...that the probable cause of the breakaway of the Carnival Triumph from its moorings and the subsequent collision with the dredge Wheeler and the towing vessel Noon Wednesday was the successive failure of multiple mooring bollards, which were known by BAE Systems to be in poor condition with an undetermined mooring load capability."[16]
Following a separate inspection, OSHA issued 1 serious violation and a $7,000 fine to BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama, LLC.[17] The company contested the citation, but the case closed in April, 2015 following a decision by an administrative law judge. According to OSHA, the company allowed vessel mooring bollards and hardware to break free from a pier under load. "The employer failed to conduct additional analysis of the Pier-K east and west bollards to determine if the mooring hardware were adequate to handle moored vessel loads and to conduct repairs of the mooring hardware prior to mooring vessels at Pier K of the facility exposing employees to struck- by, caught-in/by and drowning hazards."
Problems continued at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama's Mobile site even after the 2013 death.
06/27/2014[18] After a planned inspection, BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard in Mobile Alabama was cited for 2 "Serious" and 1 "Other-than-Serious" violation, with a penalty of $6,100 for violating OSHA's general duty requirement, and for failing to provide protection from hazardous machines and dangerous floors.
06/29/2015[19] OSHA cited BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama with 1 "Serious" violation of the general duty requirement, and levied the maximum allowable penalty of $7,000.[20]
BAE Systems Norfolk [VA] Ship Repair
"Located in a U.S. Navy mega-port and principal commercial area, the [shipyard's] primary customer is the U.S. Navy."[21]
06/12/2015[22] After an unprogrammed inspection, OSHA cited BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair for 1 "Serious" violation for failing to prevent workers from using a walkway while it was being used as a working surface and issued a $5,000 penalty. The case closed on October 22, 2015.
01/14/2013[23] Following a programmed inspection, BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair was cited for 1 "Serious" violation of the standard for arc welding and cutting for failing to ensure that all cables were properly insulated to protect workers against electrical current. In an informal settlement the initial penalty of $3,000 was reduced to $2,250.
Gender Discrimination Suit
On September 3, 2015 the Associated Press[24] reported that plaintiffs in a gender-discrimination lawsuit filed against BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair Inc. have asked a federal judge to give preliminary approval to a $3 million settlement. "A class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013 by women working at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair Inc. The women say in the lawsuit that they suffered pay and promotion discrimination, were retaliated against, and experienced sexual harassment. BAE denies any wrongdoing, but the settlement is unopposed by the company."
This case would not trigger a reporting obligation under the Executive Order, as it was settled before there was a judgment or merits determination. It is included to give an indication of the company's compliance with other important workplace laws and because it occurred at a sensitive federal site whose main customer is the U.S. Navy.
BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard Jacksonville, FL
12/15/2014:[25] Following an inspection in response to a complaint, BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Jacksonville was fined $4,250 and cited for one serious violation of the OSHA requirement that gangways be of adequate width and strength, maintained in safe repair, and safely secured.
BAE Systems Information and Electric Systems Integration, Nashua, NH
07/29/2014:[26] BAE Systems Information and Electric Systems Integration was initially cited for 3 "Serious" violations and an initial fine of $21,000 (the maximum penalty for each initial violation) involving important electrical hazards. In the subsequent settlement, the company was fined $7,000 and cited for 1 "Serious" violation for failing to ensure that only qualified persons may perform testing work on electric circuits or equipment.

Related Articles: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

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Key Articles

PR Watch Series on OSHA Violators

Reports

Other Resources

Violation Tracker
Discover Which Corporations are the Biggest Violators of Environmental, Health and Safety Laws in the United States
Violation Tracker is the first national search engine on corporate misconduct covering environmental, health, and safety cases initiated by 13 federal regulatory agencies. Violation Tracker is produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First. Click here to access Violation Tracker.

Strike Action

Lobbying/links with government

BAE lobbies the UK government at the highest level, securing favourable legislation, ministerial support for overseas sales and insurance on its deals to unstable regimes in the form of 'export credits'. BAE chairman Dick Evans is credited with opening up the Labour government to the company's influence.

The Observer newspaper has quoted an 'industry insider' as saying that Dick Evans, the then chairman of BAE, had unrivalled access to the British Prime Minister: "Dick is entirely ruthless. He is a hard man and gets his own way. But he has also been the most successful in shifting the political ground and courting New Labour. He's one of the few businessmen who can see [Tony] Blair on request." [1]

The former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook wrote of the relationship between BAE, then known as British Aerospace, and the government in his book The Point of Departure: "In my time I came to learn that the Chairman of British Aerospace appeared to have the key to the garden door to Number 10. Certainly I never once knew Number 10 to come up with any decision that would be incommoding to British Aerospace".

BAE Systems also lobbies the U.S. government. The company spent $5,140,000 for lobbying in the U.S. in 2006. Some of the lobbying firms used were Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc., Covington & Burling, and American Defense International. [27]

Political contributions

BAE Systems gave the following to federal candidates in the 2006 U.S. election through its political action committees: [28] [29]

Division Democrats Republicans
BAE Systems Land & Armaments 26% 73% $287,500
BAE Systems North America 38% 61% $497,499

Ownership of other companies

Board

Accessed July 2012: [30]

Board of directors

Executive directors

Non-executive directors

[3]

Contact details

(Headquarters) Farnborough
Hampshire
GU14 6YU

Tel: + 44 (0)1252 373 232

(Registered Office)
6 Carlton Gardens
London
SW1Y 5AD

Website: http://www.baesystems.com/

Other SourceWatch resources

External links

References

  1. President Barack Obama, "Executive Order --Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces," government document, July 31, 2014.
  2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection Documentation," government documentation, accessed October 2015.
  3. BAE Systems, 2014 Annual Report, SEC filing, accessed January 2016. See p. 6, 110.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PSC_Board
  5. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Establishment Search: BAE," database search, accessed January 2016.
  6. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 900900.015 - Bae Systems, Inc.," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  7. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, "Cadmium," fact sheet, March 20, 2015, accessed January, 2016.
  8. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1019211.015 - Bae Systems," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  9. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1043029.015 - Bae Systems," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  10. Senior Airman Ashlee Galloway, "Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston - supporting warfighters," Joint Base Charleston, September 25, 2013, accessed January, 2016.
  11. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 957901.015 - Bae Systems, Inc.," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  12. Bae Systems, "BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards Alabama," products, accessed January, 2016.
  13. AL.com and Press-Register staff, "Carnival cruise ship Triumph breaks moorings at BAE Shipyard (updated)," Alabama Media Group, April 3, 2013, accessed January, 2016.
  14. Michael Finch III, "OSHA cites BAE Systems, months after Carnival Triumph broke loose from its moorings," Alabama Media Group, October 25, 2013, accessed January, 2016.
  15. John Sharp, "OSHA investigating Wednesday's fatal incident at BAE Systems (updated)," Alabama Media Group, April 4, 2013, accessed January, 2016.
  16. National Transportation Safety Board, "Marine Accident Brief: Bollard Failure Causing Breakaway of Cruise Ship Carnival Triumph from its Moorings, and Subsequent Collision with Dredge Wheeler and Towing Vessel Noon Wednesday," investigation report, accessed January, 2016.
  17. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 899880.015 - Bae Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama, Llc," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  18. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 982935.015 - Bae Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama, Llc," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  19. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1074266.015 - Bae Systems Southeast Shipyard Alabama, Llc," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  20. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 317554665 - Computer Sciences Corporation," inspection case record, accessed January 2016.
  21. BAE Systems, "Norfolk Ship Repair," Products,accessed January, 2016.
  22. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1070225.015 - Bae Systems Norfolk Ship Repiar," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  23. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 838723.015 - Bae Systems Norfolk Ship Repair," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  24. Associated Press, "Shipyard, plaintiffs propose sex-discrimination settlement," 13newsnow.com, September 2, 2015, accessed January, 2016.
  25. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 1014200.015 - Bae Systems Southeast Shipyards Jacksonville, Llc," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  26. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Inspection: 987396.015 - Bae Systems Information And Electric Systems Integration," inspection case record, accessed January, 2016.
  27. BAE Systems lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed January 2008
  28. 2006 PAC ID: C00330076, Open Secrets, accessed January 2008
  29. 2006 PAC ID: C00281212, Open Secrets, accessed January 2008
  30. BAE Systems Board, organizational web page, accessed July 5, 2012.