Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this.
The Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council has endorsed a Mine Workers (UMWA)-sponsored resolution declaring that “as community members and leaders, we believe that Peabody [Energy], Arch [Coal] and Patriot Coal should not be using the bankruptcy process to shed themselves of providing health care and pension obligations to coal miners who put their lives and health at risk every day working for Peabody, Arch and Patriot Coal.”
For a heart-breaking look at how the Republican-engineered dysfunction at the National Labor Relations Board is affecting working men and women, check out Dave Jamieson’s weekend piece in The Huffington Post.
Jamieson chronicles the nine-year ordeal of union coal miners at the Cannelton mine near Smithers, W.Va., who lost their jobs when Massey Energy (since purchased by another mining company after the notorious Upper Big Branch disaster) bought the mine.
The workers at the nonunion mine featured in Spike TV’s 2011 reality show “Coal” voted this week to join the Mine Workers (UMWA). The 23 miners work at Cobalt Coal’s Westchester in McDowell County, W.Va.
Concerns about safety practices at the mine were raised after the airing of the first few episodes last year. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training cited the mine for several violations based on practices shown in the program.
Today, Romney says he will be a “coal” president. But he is actually anti-coal. It wasn’t too long ago that he stood in front of a coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts and said, “Coal kills people. Shut this down.” Now, he goes into the field and says there is a war on coal….Mitt Romney is a political chameleon who will say anything he thinks people want to hear.