Cindy Chavez is executive officer at the South Bay Labor Council, and is executive director of Working Partnerships USA.

Death of Construction Worker is a Tragic Lesson

and Neil Struthers

By all accounts, Raul Zapata was a hardworking father and a loving uncle who took in his young nephews who needed a parental figure. To his family, his tragic death is an incomprehensible loss. To the company he worked for, U.S.-Sino Investment of Fremont, this tragedy is a hard lesson in corporate responsibility.

When a wall of mud came crashing down on Zapata as he worked on the construction of a home in the Milpitas hills, neither he nor his co-workers knew they weren't supposed to be there. An order by the city of Milpitas had been issued just days before, demanding the construction company stop work until potentially deadly conditions could be inspected for safety.