Eastman party guest restrictions a nod to safety

Editorial Board • Dec 21, 2017 at 9:14 AM

The nattering nabobs of negativism, as the late Vice President Spiro Agnew termed those who constantly complain, are hopping mad that Eastman Chemical Co. is not inviting former employees to its annual Christmas party.

To read Facebook posts on this story, you would think the ultimate insult for some of these folks is to be denied their perceived right to attend a party. Asked one such pundit, “So basically you give this company all those years and then they are done with you?” The answer, in a nutshell, is yes. You were paid handsomely in most cases for that service, and when it’s over, it’s over.

Said another commenter: “Eastman is not required to have a party at all.” That person pointed out that retirees should be thankful they had the opportunity to work for Eastman and now that they don’t, they should “get over it.”

The hullabaloo is over a letter an Eastman retiree received that stated that due to “tightened security measures, we will no longer be able to have retirees come inside the plant for our annual Christmas party. We regret the loss of fellowship but we are living in different times.”

It should be noted that this letter was not on corporate stationery. It came from a particular department within Eastman and so, the policy may not hold true for other departments. Or, it could be that each department was asked to notify specific retirees of what is a plant-wide policy.

In any event, the policy is certainly understandable.

In the wake of the explosion at the plant earlier this year, the community has been reminded of the dangers that a chemical plant poses and the risks that it faces due to its manufacturing processes.

Simply put, chemical plants are at a much higher risk of sabotage than other manufacturing facilities.

As well, just recently an employee of an Eastman vendor was charged with stealing industrial grade pipe fittings valued at more than $86,000 from the plant.

Indeed, these are different times. Retirees might come together for their own Christmas party.

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