ConEd's Manhole Sweatshops: "Taking It Seriously"

New York state law requires that requires that the energy company ConEd accept the lowest bids possible for its manhole covers, which probably explains why they’re made by nearly naked men in India paid only a handful of dollars a day. When ConEd officials were shown images of the shirtless workers toiling with molten metal, they said (emphasis added):

We were disturbed by the photos…We take worker safety very seriously.

This is as good a time as any to introduce you folks to the phrase, “taking it seriously.” You will note, as we have, that in statements by company spokesmen made to newspapers regarding their employer’s wrongdoing, the phrase, “taking it seriously” appears again and again, so often, in fact, that we have trouble taking seriously that all these companies are really taking their ne’er-do-welling as seriously as they would have us think. To this end, The Consumerist has begun documenting the utterances of the phrase with eye towards a roundup post some day cataloging sightings of this well-polished piece of public relation glibbery. Keep an eye out.

New York Manhole Covers, Forged Barefoot in India [NYT via Gothamist]