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Showing blog posts tagged with coal

Series Exposing Coal Companies’, Lawyers', Doctors’ Roles in Black Lung Denials Wins Pulitzer

Retired miner Steve Day, 67, needs supplemental oxygen 24 hours a day to breathe. Photo by F. Brian Ferguson/Center for Public Integrity

An investigative series by Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity about how coal companies fighting claims of black lung disease, and the disability benefits that sick and dying coal miners are due when they are diagnosed with the crippling and fatal disease, employ “cutthroat” law firms and a select group of physicians—including a small unit of Johns Hopkins radiologists—was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

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Johns Hopkins Suspends Black Lung Program

ABC News reported Johns Hopkins Medicine announced it has suspended and will review its controversial black lung x-ray review program after last week’s investigative report by the Center for Public Integrity, and the news outlet found radiologists there almost always denied x-ray evidence of black lung in coal miners seeking benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act.

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You Won't Believe that Doctors Are Denying This Exists

Photo by TV19 - DD Meighen/Flickr

You don't have to be a doctor at Johns Hopkins to know black lung disease when you see it. I know firsthand because I've seen it. I've seen it kill my father, my grandfathers and uncles. They were all coal miners who breathed coal dust for years until their scarred lungs could no longer work and they suffocated.

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How Did the Mine Workers Take on Peabody and Bankruptcy and Win?

How Did the Mine Workers Take on Peabody and Bankruptcy and Win?

Last week, after nearly a year of protests, rallies, marches and court battles, the Mine Workers (UMWA) reached an agreement with Peabody Energy to cover future health care benefits for the retired coal miners affected by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal. Patriot was spun off from Peabody in 2007 but saddled with the benefit obligations for former Peabody miners.

Today in The American Prospect, Harold Meyerson explores how the UMWA staged “a brilliant and innovative campaign that has ended in a stunning victory.”

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Ludlow Massacre Centennial Commemoration Events Under Way

Colorado Coal Field War Project photo

One hundred years ago on Sunday, southern Colorado miners and their families walked out of the coal mines and mining camps striking for adequate wages, enforcement of state mining laws and union recognition. The strike led to a months-long struggle that culminated in one of the most tragic events in U.S. labor history, the April 20, 1914, Ludlow Massacre.

Yesterday, at the Ludlow Massacre memorial site near Trinidad, several hundred survivors’ descendants, Mine Workers (UMWA) members and officials, historians and others kicked off the centennial commemoration of the strike and massacre. 

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Appeals Court Denies Peabody’s Retiree Health Care Evasion

UMWA photo

In a victory for some 3,100 retired Mine Workers (UMWA) members and a setback for Peabody Energy and its attempt to duck its health care obligations, a U.S. Court of Appeals’ bankruptcy appellate panel today reversed a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed Peabody to shed its responsibilities.

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Back the UMWA: Sign the Petition

Back the UMWA: Sign the Petition

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.”

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'It's Ruined Me'

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.

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Miners from Spike TV Reality Show Vote for UMWA

Photo courtesy of Wisconsin AFL-CIO:

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.

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Calls Out Romney's Hypocrisy on Coal

If there is a “war on coal,” as Mitt Romney and his corporate coal operator backers have trumpeted throughout coal country, especially in the vital swing state of Ohio, the man behind that war is Mitt Romney himself, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a telephone press conference Monday.   

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.     

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