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Showing blog posts tagged with mine safety

What We're Reading Today: Wednesday News Roundup

Photo via Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City/Wikimedia

Here are some headlines from the working families news we're reading today (after the jump).

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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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Black Lung Kills, Coal Companies Help, Finds New Investigation

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

In 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, coal companies employ “cutthroat” law firms and a select group of physicians—including a unit at the nation’s top-ranked hospital, according to a new investigative report by the Center for Public Integrity in partnership with ABC News.    

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka—a third-generation coal miner—will discuss the report tonight on ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer” at 6:30 p.m. in most markets and later on “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m. Thursday. Check your local listings.

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Government Shutdown: 6 More Federal Jobs that Are Vital to America's Families

Photo by Rep. Keith Ellison/Flickr

Last week, we gave you a dozen examples of the vital work that locked-out federal employees are being prevented from doing, thanks to the irresponsible House Republican government shutdown now in its second week. Republican House leaders are still refusing to do the right thing and allow a vote on funding and reopening the government.

Here’s a look at six more of the jobs that shut-down workers—or those still on the job but not getting paid—perform and some of the key government services we all count on that are idled.

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Rockefeller Urges Obama Administration to Move Quickly on Black Lung Rule

Photo by Chuck Holton/Flickr

There is an alarming increase the number of coal miners—including younger and younger miners—diagnosed with deadly black lung disease. But a proposed federal rule limiting miners’ exposure to the coal dust that causes black lung is stuck in regulatory limbo and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has urged President Obama to end the delays and move the rule “as expeditiously as possible.”

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W.Va. Senators Introduce New Mine Safety Bill

Congress must fix “the glaring safety issues revealed in the wake of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) this week, as he introduced legislation to bring the nation’s mine health and safety laws up to date.

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Former Massey Official Implicates Blankenship in Scheme to Skirt Mine Safety Laws

Talk Radio News photo/flickr

The former president of a Massey Energy subsidiary, who also served for 20 years in top positions throughout Massey, implicated former Massey CEO Donald Blankenship in a long-term scheme to hide mine safety violations from federal inspectors.

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Upper Big Branch Superintendent Sentenced

Photo by Rana X/Flickr

A mine superintendent at the former Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine, where 29 coal miners were killed in 2010, will serve 21 months in prison for his role in disabling a methane monitor that automatically shuts down a coal cutting machine when dangerous levels of the explosive gas are detected. As part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Gary May also will pay a $20,000 fine.

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Massey Energy Mine Manager Charged in Conspiracy to Hide Dangerous Conditions from Inspectors

In April 2010, 29 mine workers were killed in an explosion in what's known as the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Raleigh County, W. Va. Today, federal prosecutors charged Massey Energy mine manager David C. Hughart with covering up defiance of safety regulations and resulting dangerous conditions from government inspectors. The Charleston Gazette reports that this is the "first time in their probe of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster that prosecutors have filed charges alleging Massey officials engaged in a scheme that went beyond the Raleigh County mine...."

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Workers and Community Activists Take on Mining Corporation in Mexico

Brian Finnegan talks to mineworkers and community members.

At 6 a.m., the AFL-CIO participated as an international observer as mineworkers and community members peacefully blocked access to the Canadian mining company Excellon Resources Inc. at La Platosa mine in Durango, Mexico. The protesters have maintained their camp at the entrance of the mine since July 8. They continue to seek negotiation and demand a resolution to the conflicts between Excellon, local landowners and workers in the mine.

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