For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
"What Killed the Miners? Profits Over Safety?"
Director of Labor Notes,
Brenner said today: "The tragic deaths of at least 25 miners at the
Upper Big Branch mine isn't really an 'accident.' Workplace fatalities
are rarely accidents. They often occur in places where inspection and
enforcement of health and safety hazards in the workplace have been
eroded over a long period. The mine's owner, Massey, has a long record
of safety violations, including 57 discovered just last month. Corporate
restructuring and the destruction of unions in the mines have deprived
workers of their advocate and watchdog in the workplace. Coupled with
the erosion of federal workplace hazard oversight and enforcement under
the Bush administration -- which virtually gutted the Mine Safety and
Health Administration -- it's led to a volatile situation in the
Biggers just wrote the piece
Killed the Miners? Profits Over Safety?" The piece states: "All
coal mining safety laws have been written in miners' blood. My
grandfather, who barely survived an explosion in a coal mine in southern
Illinois, taught me this phrase.
"Massey, of course, has become infamous for its devastating
mountaintop removal operations. ... But the company also pleaded guilty
to criminal violations for a January, 2006 fire at the Aracoma mine in
Logan County, W.Va., which took the lives of two miners."
Biggers is the author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret
Legacy of Coal in the Heartland and The United States of
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.