When the Democratic-led House of Representatives voted again to authorize billions for the failed war in Afghanistan last night, there was no relief for 300,000 teachers facing cuts as the House originally wanted. But there was apparently room for some money for working people: included in the bill was $22 million in mine safety funding. This money will help alleviate a “backlog of more than 17,000 cases involving mine operator appeals of safety and health violations,” according to the House Education and Labor Committee.
|By: Michael Whitney Wednesday July 28, 2010 11:07 am|
|By: Bruce H. Vail Thursday July 15, 2010 11:42 am|
There seemed to be an otherworldly presence in the hearing room Tuesday when a Congressional committee began formal consideration of new coal mine safety legislation.
I was physically far away, watching on C-SPAN, so I couldn’t tell whether the unseen spirits were the ghosts of the 29 miners killed three months ago in a preventable explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia — or the malignant aura of corporate power that seems to haunt the halls of Congress.
|By: Michael Whitney Thursday July 15, 2010 10:24 am|
On February 13, 2010, the management at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine ordered an electrician to disable a methane alarm that kept going off, according to NPR. This is the equivalent of being annoyed that your fire alarm is going off, so you turn it off; then your house burns down and kills you and almost everyone inside.
|By: Michael Whitney Wednesday July 14, 2010 2:46 pm|
After yesterday’s hearing on new mine and workplace safety legislation in the House – legislation necessary because of the negligence of Don Blankenship’s Massey Energy in the deaths of 29 miners earlier this year – Massey Energy’s press office made a funny.
In order to combat the clear evidence that Massey puts profits over worker safety, the coal company thought it would be a good idea to show just how supportive miners are of the company’s record. Massey claims 97% of its coal miners believe safety is important to the company.
|By: Bruce H. Vail Monday July 12, 2010 4:45 pm|
Tomorrow afternoon, Congress will once again take up new legislative proposals to improve coal mine safety. After decades of repeated mining disasters, countless unnecessary deaths and injuries, and continual demands for remedial action, can Congress finally get mining safety legislation right? The outward signs are not encouraging.
|By: Michael Whitney Thursday April 29, 2010 3:30 pm|
Anyone sensing a pattern here? One miner is dead and another is missing after the roof of a non-union coal mine collapsed in Kentucky today. One of two miners missing after a roof collapse at a Kentucky mine was found dead Thursday, federal mining officials said. Rescuers started searching the Alliance Resource Partners L.P. underground coal [...]
|By: David Dayen Thursday April 15, 2010 4:29 pm|
I’m a blogger fellow with Brave New Films on their 16 Deaths Per Day campaign for worker safety. Join us on Facebook. The President spoke strongly about the need for accountability in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. He is certainly right about that, but he needs to look beyond one industry when making these [...]
|By: Michael Whitney Thursday April 15, 2010 2:35 pm|
President Obama spoke this morning on the initial report from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Mine Safety administrator Joe Main on what happened at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Obama notably called out “safety violators like Massey Energy” and specifically singled out the pattern of Massey and other mine operators to appeal violations to avoid [...]
|By: Michael Whitney Thursday April 15, 2010 9:56 am|
Rep. George Miller released the list of the 48 most dangerous mines in America. These are the mines that have the most outstanding health and safety violations contested by the mine owners. Had the mines not contested these penalties, they likely would receive “pattern of violation” notices that would accelerate the Mine Safety and Health [...]