Marion Steelworkers to Representative Burton: "Get the Lead Out"

By Sammira Little

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 17, 2008 at 11:37 AM EDT

Millions of lead-laced toys and other unsafe products were cause for a demonstration by the United Steelworkers in Marion. They gathered outside the office of Representative Dan Burton demanding action against cheap goods that often come with an expensive price.

Rick Kramer knows first hand. He says, "My son...he's a Thomas the Train freak. He loves Thomas the Train."

But there was one thing Kramer's son didn't love."We had to take him in and have him tested for lead, you really don't think about it, until it happens to you and then you think, hey this could really impact people's lives."

The recall of 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine toys last June was just the beginning. Since then more than 6 million toys have been recalled.

Keith Olmstead, a representative from the United Steelworkers, said,"Numerous product recalls with toys, food, pet foods within last few months that's the things we need to stop."

Another big concern for the demonstrators is job security.

"We've lost a lot of jobs in this community due to stuff going to China," said the president of the Marion United Steelworkers Steve Shively."I hope doesn't get any worse than this."

The group wants Burton to co-sponsor the U.S. Food and Product Responsibility Act which would require distributors to prove they can financially cover the risks associated with recalls.

Burton agrees with the protestors intent, but thinks the bill they are promoting could have unintended consequences for small business in America. The bill will be introduced in the U.S. House by Representative Pete Visclosky next week.




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