Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The head of the United Mine Workers of America Union went before the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh today and fired up the crowd by taking some swipes at the head of Massey energy. Massey Energy owns the mine where 29 workers lost their lives last week. UMWA President Cecil Roberts admits mining is dangerous but he says Massey Energy continued to ignore safety violations to the point that one miner wrote a letter to his family and sealed it fearing he would not get out of the mine alive someday. He says Massey CEO Don Blankenship should be held criminally accountable. He says, “if there is any justice in America, US Marshalls should go to where he lives, get him, handcuff him, put him in chains, take him to jail, set his fine at $40 million.” Roberts says if the mine had been unionized the workers would have never gone into such an unsafe place but the workers at the upper big branch mine were too worried about losing their jobs to complain. THE UMWA had tried several times to unionize the mine but were unsuccessful. Roberts called on the unions that hold Massey stock in their pension programs to call for the ouster of Blankenship and the company’s board of directors.
Listen to Roberts address to the PA AFL-CIO