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KBR Named A Preferred Employer Among Women? Surely you jest!

Every once in a while, something so incomprehensible happens, it throws off the whole balance of nature, white becomes black, up becomes down and pigs fly.

In a recent news release from KBR, it states they have made it onto the “Top 50 Employers” list for Woman Engineer Magazine with a ranking of #46. The lists published on WEM’s site do not include KBR so I can’t confirm KBR’s claim. Assuming KBR is not trying to mislead their employees and investors and did in fact somehow magically make it onto this list, I must then ask “Who in the Hell is #47, #48, #49 & #50?” KBR is notorious for their crimes and abuses against women employees. (Click HERE to contact Women Engineer Magazine and insist KBR be removed from the list)

Let’s start with this short list of well documented cases of female KBR employees who were brutally raped, harassed, intimidated and held against their will while working for KBR in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jamie Leigh Jones – Drugged and gang raped by KBR employee Charles Boartz and other unidentified KBR employees (firemen) and then held against her will by KBR management in the Green Zone – Baghdad, Iraq. To top it off KBR has the audacity to publicly vilify Jones by calling her a liar on their own site and in the media.

Anna MayoRaped and brutally beaten by who is believed to be a KBR employee and who was allowed to leave the country most likely by KBR management at Balad, Iraq. Again KBR chooses to publicly vilify Mayo by claiming she did not pursue the issue when she felt threatened by this employee when in fact she did report it to KBR management.

Dawn LeamonDrugged and raped by at a KBR supervisor and a soldier and then harassed an intimidated to keep quiet. (Camp Harper – Basra, Iraq)

Rachel WrightSexually assaulted by KBR employee David Charles Breda who has since pled guilty and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. (Al Asad, Iraq)

Tracy BarkerSexually assaulted, harassed and falsely imprisoned while employed by KBR in Baghdad and Basra, Iraq.

Jo FrederiksenSubjected to inappropriate touching, stalking, intimidation and verbal harassment by KBR co-workers and additional harassment and intimidation by KBR managers after she reported it. (Iraq)

Swanita TaylorFired after reporting sexual assault while working for KBR in Afghanistan.  Again KBR chooses to publicly vilify Taylor by claiming “she made numerous complaints but she is now reporting, for the first time, an “exaggerated version” of her assault”.

Wanda CabanPlaced under house arrest for her romantic relationship with an Afghan national, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Caban later married this person in the U.S. I do not know of one instance of a male KBR employee who was placed under house arrest and fired for a having a romantic relationship in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Iraqi WomanFired after refusing to have sex with her KBR supervisor in Baghdad, Iraq.

The above is just a short list of the rapes, assaults, harassment and intimidation I’ve heard about. There’s just no telling how much has gone unreported or they don’t pursue after the initial report for fear of retaliation? KBR subjects their employees to secret arbitration so their dirty deeds can be kept secret behind closed doors. If you know of other cases of rape, assault, harassment etc, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

Now let’s take a look at KBR managers and their Trafficking In Persons (TIPs) violations which are clear violations of the FAR and DFARs.

Several KBR managers have openly advertised and promoted their personal businesses which consist of owning hotels/brothels in Thailand and other SE Asian countries. And lets not forget about the in country operations by KBR supervisors and employees who allegedly victimized foreign national men and women by pimping them out at different camps around Iraq and Afghanistan. Numerous operations have been shut down by the Army.  Then there are the countless number of KBR employees who R&R in Thailand and other SE Asian countries in order to hire prostitutes and and feed their pedophilia sickness. We had one of those in our group in the Green Zone. Rumor has it KBR has now limited the number of times an employee can R&R to SE Asia to once per year.  Hmmm…..if there wasn’t a problem then why would they make this restriction? This is such a problem KBR also put out an informative power point presentation informing their employees that hiring prostitutes is against the rules. They seriously had to tell them that? As far as I’m concerned it was half-hearted attempt to patronize the client (US Army). I want to see enforcement! But if they started enforcing they would have to fire a huge portion of their own managers!

This is just the tip of the iceberg on cases involving female KBR employees and doesn’t include how they electrocuted SSG Ryan Maseth and SSG Chris Everett, poisoned hundreds of KBR employees and National Guard Troops at Qarmat Ali n Iraq, exposing 1000′s to dangerous carcinogens at mismanaged burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, were responsible for the deaths of drivers, and other employees and are under investigation for 100′s of million in contract fraud.

I urge YOU the reader to contact Woman Engineer Magazine and insist KBR be removed from the list. It’s a disgrace to the Magazine and KBR doesn’t deserve it. Feel free to send them a link to this post so they can read about how KBR treats their female employees.

Ms Sparky

Updated April 7, 2011 @ 10:13pm PST: Be sure to check out the awesome Mother Jones article  by Adam Weinstein that just came out on this.

KBR Named “Top Employer” for Women?! (Video)

Updated April 8, 2011 @ 6:48am PST: Go check out the terrific article written by Richard Connelly at the Houston Press’ Hair Balls Blog.

KBR’s Selection As a “Top Employer For Women” Ignites Backlash

Updated April 10, 2011 @ 11:12 am: Huffington Post has picked up the Mother Jones article. Quite an interesting conversation going on over there.

KBR Named “Top Employer” for Women

Jezebel as has also picked up the Mother Jones article

Company That Locked Raped Woman In Container Named “Top Employer For Women”

 

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19 Comments

  1. Comment by U.S.A.W.T.F?:

    http://www.eop.com/awards-EO.php

    According to their awards page, KBR was no where to be found. THANK GOD!!

  2. Comment by leo:

    Ms Sparky

    It may be do not for get the real KBR not logcap takes the cream off the top. Do you think big oil would let the over runs that the DOD does Do not for get Big oil would be in court with KBR if female where not looked after and thats bad press that hurts them on wall steet

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      These cases have been all over the news and it doesn’t seem to be affecting their stock prices on Wall Street at all. If people would vote with their dollar and just sell their KBR stock based on moral and ethical grounds that might make a difference to KBR. Then again, it might not. And let’s not forget when many of these crimes against women were committed KBR still belonged to Halliburton!

      • Comment by Bill:

        Ms Sparky,

        you are right there should. My Point is the real big boys will not put up with this at all there do not need a Sub hurting there PR and do not for get we worked for SEII not KBR and no id never let my wife work in Iraq and my camp was good Vs most

        • Comment by Ms Sparky:

          They seem to be putting up with it because the managers at the helm when Jamie Leigh Jones was held against her will and her father had to enlist the help of the State Department to get her out of Baghdad after her gang rape were not fired. I have yet to hear of any manager fired for holding a rape victim against their will. The managers owning or frequenting brothels in Thailand were never fired. The managers who allowed women to be assaulted, harassed, intimidated were never fired. Many still work for KBR. Others have gone off to work for Flour, Dyncorp and the like because there is no employment history that says they were fired. Life goes on for them while their victims are still paying the price.

  3. Comment by Ms Sparky:

    I just updated this post with an article from Mother Jones. I just love MOJO!! Thanks Adam!

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/04/kbr-named-top-employer-women

  4. Comment by Ms Sparky:

    I just updated this post with an article from the Houston Press. “Good morning KBR….It’s Ms Sparky!”

    http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2011/04/kbr_women_employees.php

  5. Comment by Ms Sparky:

    According to the Project On Government Oversight’s (POGO) database, KBR currently has 23 instances of civil, criminal or administrative misconduct for which it has paid more than $130 million in fines, penalties and restitution. It is also involved in 25 pending instances. These instances involve everything from defrauding the federal government and international bribery to exposing the public to electrocution hazards and toxic chemicals.

    It is of particularly interesting that 8 of KBR’s instances (two resolved, six still pending) involve the sexual assault or discriminatory treatment of KBR’s female employees.

  6. Comment by Pamela Kemp:

    Ms. Sparky, Thank you for continuing to shine a light on this insanity. There is enough documented evidence against KBR that the US Defense Dept should be ashamed to continue to use them as contractors.

  7. Comment by Non-Voter:

    I will bet you dollars to donuts KBR either

    1. Strongly “encouraged” their female employees to vote for them. They did this once when I was in Iraq. Maybe about 2004 or so. They “asked” us to contact a major newspaper. I think it was the New York Times who was publishing a non flattering article about them and KBR wanted us to contact them and tell them how wonderful KBR was and how awesome it was to work for them.

    2. Paid for the spot. I just wonder if KBR is an advertiser at the magazine.

    I don’t know who these women are that voted but no one asked me to vote. I’m sure that women in Iraq were left out of the vote for a good reason.

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  9. Comment by Ms Sparky:

    This comment was let on the Mother Jones article:

    BarkingEag­le Yesterday 09:19 PM (@Mother Jones)

    Whenever you see these kinds of claims, remember that all companies are not candidates­. Only those that enter and pay a fee are eligible. Having worked for a PR agency, I have seen this many times.

    These “surveys” are money makers for the magazines. Every company that wants to be considered submits an applicatio­n with an entry fee. Then there’s a pricey award banquet for those shortliste­d at which the winners of various categories (by industry or size/numbe­r of employees) are selected. There is an additional charge to be included in the magazine’s promotiona­l advertisin­g and recognized as a “finalist.­” Then those voted on by readers from the shortlist sent to them by the magazine have another “opportuni­ty” to by an ad promoting the company as a winner.

    The shortlist ballot contains descriptio­ns (prepared by the company and its PR firm) of what the company does for female employees. Readers may not know anything more about the company than the PR descriptio­n. The company may also purchase as many subscripti­ons to the magazine as it wants and distribute them to employees who will then be eligible to vote on the award selection.

    I’m sure KBR would never stoop to such tactics, however.

  10. Comment by Ms Sparky:

    I’m on a mission. I have contacted CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and Comedy Central. A commenter on one of the other sites posting this article suggested John Stewart on the The Daily show add this to his “Polishing A Turd” segment! Love It!

  11. Comment by Barry331:

    Here are some good guidelines for what constitutes Human Trafficking:But once the men arrived, the suit says, their passports were confiscated and they were not paid for their work. It also alleges they were forced to live in cramped, dirty conditions.

    “Upon arriving to the U.S., their passports were confiscated and they were threatened with deportation if they complained,” Michael Farrell, an EEOC attorney said Tuesday during a news conference in Honolulu announcing details of the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit alleges the workers endured screaming, threats and physical assaults by their supervisors.

    Sound a little familiar?

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