Today, 150 people will likely be killed on the job or die from job-related illnesses and disease. That deadly toll will continue tomorrow and the next day and the next until the nation “renews the commitment to protect workers from injury, disease and death,” and makes it a high priority, says the 2013 edition of the AFL-CIO’s Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.
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.
The AFL-CIO supports the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and urges the Senate to support cloture and to vote for her confirmation. As President Obama's nominee for the appeals court, Halligan has an impressive record in public service. Halligan served as the solicitor general for the state of New York and as general counsel for the New York County District Attorney’s office. She has garnered broad support, ranging from law enforcement groups, appellate advocates and women’s bar associations.
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.
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.
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.
A plan by the major mineral company, Great Salt Lake Minerals Corp., with ties to a Louisiana salt mine (North American Salt Co.), to expand its mineral extraction production at the Great Salt Lake, poses a threat to Utah’s Great Salt Lake ecosystem, says the United Steelworkers (USW).
True Value should take back the 2011 Supplier of the Year Award it gave North American Salt, says United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard, because North American operates a salt mine in Louisiana that has received safety and health citations for serious violations and been shut down temporarily by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Some 100 workers at the company’s Cote Blanche mine in Louisiana are USW members.
If you work in the hydraulic fracturing industry—better known as “fracking”—you may be exposed to high levels of crystalline silica, putting you at risk of developing silicosis, lung cancer and other debilitating diseases, according to a letter sent today from the AFL-CIO, Mine Workers (UMWA) and the United Steelworkers (USW) to the top federal safety agencies.