Last week, I talked with Shannon Gray, the president of the International Guards Union of America (IGUA), Local 3, about the anniversary of the Y-12 break-in, July 28, 2012, and the difficult times since that incident.
“Obviously, it’s been very significant,” Gray said, adding that from a personal and professional perspective it’s been the biggest work impact he’s experienced. He said he believes that if Y-12 could just get past a certain point, things will get better, but he noted that the added scrutiny has magnified every little problem.
I haven’t talked to Gray today, but this morning’s security incident — with the accidental discharge of a weapon injuring two guards — probably won’t make the recovery any easier.
“There’s a lot pressure on security police officers to perform, perform well and not to make a mistake, which I understand,” Gray said last week. “As I’ve told you before, I completely understand the importance of our jobs. But you can’t tell the human element out. We’re humans, and there will be mistakes.”
However, Gray added, the mistakes made since July 28, 2012 have been magnified, every little detail of them, and that’s added to the pressure of working at Y-12 — especially in the security ranks.
“Mistakes are much more problematic,” he said.