January 20, 2016

Union contract key to safety

Micah Landau, United Federation of Teachers

Five years after a West Virginia coal mine explosion killed 29 miners, a federal jury convicted the former CEO of Massey Energy of criminal conspiracy to violate mine safety standards. The trial laid bare rampant neglect of basic mine safety regulations. Over the years, thousands of violations involving ventilation and coal dust precautions had piled up at Upper Big Branch, the site of the disaster.

Donald Blankenship, who was acquitted of the most serious charges, faces up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor. Since 1970, there have been more than 390,000 worker deaths on the job, yet in this same period only 88 cases have been prosecuted for violating workplace safety laws, according to the AFL-CIO. ... more

Posted In: Health and Safety

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