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at’s itr W eiAbout? Parisian Charm. Omelette & Champagne Breakfast. Beautiful Crepes. Afternoon Cocktails. Gallant Waiters. Delicious Quiche. Evening Romance. Continental Steaks. Mysterious Women. Famous Pastries. Cognac & Midnight Rendezvous. In short, it’s about everything a great European style restaurant is all about. p ec e en 01:1 Cafe 31 0 East 6th St. Austin, Texas the legendary RAW DEAL Steaks, Chops, Chicken open lunch and evenings 605 Sabine, Austin No Reservations told my boss [Q/A engineer D. L. Holstead] he told me to go, but not to tell anyone else what I was doing, [i.e., testithought would support him, now denies any knowledge of the Fort Worth hearings. “When I got back, I was fired by Tony Orsini, Q/A supervisor, because, he said, my termination from B&R was ‘unacceptable.’ When I tried to tell him that the firing had been ruled illegal, he refused to listen. I learned later that there had been meetings all morning: with Larry Richardson, my immediate supervisor, Holstead, Orsini and Pete Foscolo, project manager. A copy of the Fort Worth paper covering my testimony had been telexed to the site that morning, and just about everybody had read it.” Links between personnel at Thompkins-Beckwith and B&R had already been established by the initial Labor Board investigation, but were reestablished for the record in February by Atchison’s attorney, Marshall Gilmore of Fort Worth, during crossexamination. Pete Foscolo had formerly been with B&R, and had been the man to contact Jerry Magner in July looking for “pipe whip restraint inspectors” in the Fort Worth area. \(Atchison was former project engineer at Comanche Peak, told the court that he runs an employment service in Granbury, but admitted later under cross examination that the one and only time he ever initiated an “employee search” was that July for Foscolo. He said that after the July contract, “hiring people was too much trouble,” so he quit. Larry Richardson had also been employed by B&R; C. T. Brandt, the supervisor at B&R who fired Atchison, had once worked for ThompkinsBeckwith. “I know Brandt, and if he fired you, that’s good enough for me,” Atchison reported Richardson told him the day he was fired. James Kenny, senior vice president for Thompkins-Beckwith, testified that the telexed newspaper article reached his office in Jacksonville, Fla., ThompkinsBeckwith’s home office, the same morning it was sent to the Louisiana site. Kenny and Orsini, who was also in Jacksonville, then had a meeting to discuss Atchison’s testimony before Orsini flew out to fire him. Both men deny that Atchison’s testimony before the NRC caused his firing. On the stand later, Orsini did admit that he refused to listen to Atchison’s reasons for the B&R firing or to make an effort to find out, accepting instead B&R’s statement in his personnel file, to the effect that “employee refuses to carry out orders.” The only thing wrong with that, Atchison points out, is “the orders were illegal.” Although Atchison’s personnel files had been filled with glowing reports from his B&R supervisors, prior to his firing, and he had been regularly promoted to higher positions, he had made a serious mistate when he first applied for work with B&R. He had falsified his educational background, giving himself a hundred extra college hours and an associate degree he had not earned, even though college hours were not required for the job he held. “A mistake,” he says, “but one that a lot of construction people make.” Nonetheless, the companies have focused on the falsified resume, painting him with a broad brush of “liar and cheat.” So far, that has not affected the NLRB or Administrative Law Judge Ellin O’Shea, who recently denied the B&R appeal, accusing the company ofmaking “unconvincing, unbelievable and irrational” charges against Atchison. Hearings on the Mercury of Norwood firing, also a contractor at the Waterford site, have not been scheduled. That firing, says the NLRB, was a direct result of the Thompkins-Beckwith firing: Thompkins-Beckwith personnel, who saw Atchison on site after Mercury of Norwood hired him, told Mercury personnel that he was a “troublemaker.” Atchison was fired an hour after reporting for work. That had the effect, so wrote the NLRB area director, of “perpetuating a violation of the [whistleblower act] ad infinitum.” Gilmore compares that firing to a person winning a discrimination suit after being fired for being black, then finding himself fired by another company simply because he was fired by the first company. “That kind of policy is simply an extension of the original illegal firing. But both Thompkins-Beckwith and Mercury have tried to use that defense. “Atchison’s case is extremely important,” Gilmore says, “because if the whistleblower law is going to have any teeth in it, it must protect against this kind of ‘ad infinitum’ firing, especially if the act is going to give any real protection to workers in the nuclear industry, which is closeknit and blacklists whistleblowers. A favorable ruling for Atchison will also establish some precedents since there have only been a few whistleblower cases to reach the appeal level and Atchison may be the only worker who has been the principal in three of them!” A dubious honor, Atchison believes. “I may win big somewhere down the line,” he says, “but in the meantime, I’m about to lose the first house my wife and I have ever owned and I have a 14-yearold daughter who wants to quit school and go to work. The strain has been hard on all of us. Still, if I can keep my job, and if my attorneys will stay with me, I’m going to see this all the way. Others are bound to benefit.” “All the way” may be the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the final stop for the companies; Atchison and Gilmore believe B&R will certainly take its case that far. A ruling in the current Thompkins-Beckwith appeal is not expected for several months. Betty Brink DENTAL VICTIMS Send us your complaints. Free help in Austin area: self-help literature for others. Send stamped, self-addressed envelope \(or P.O. Box 887, Blanco, Texas 78606. TEXAS BOOKS & AUTHORS MAGAZINE: $10.00 for six issues. Write Dept. A-6, Box 13622, Houston 77007. WHEATSVILLE FOOD CO-OP. 3101 Guadalupe, Austin 78705. Open 9-9. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3