« | »

Mine Union Boss Says: Jail Massey CEO!

From the CPUSA’s Peoples World (formerly, the Daily Worker):

President Obama speaks on mine safety in the Rose Garden of the White House, April 15, 2010, with, from left, Mine Safety and Health Administrator Kevin Stricklin, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main.

Mine union leader on Massey CEO: Handcuff and jail him!

By: Tim Wheeler
April 16 2010

West Virginia coal miners stopped production April 16 to mourn the 29 miners killed in the explosion at Massey Energy’s non-union Upper Big Branch mine, April 5, the worst mine disaster in 40 years. The day was dedicated to reviewing safety procedures even as President Barack Obama during a Rose Garden news conference ordered a top-to-bottom review of mine safety enforcement.

United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts, speaking to the Pennsylvania State AFL-CIO Convention in Pittsburgh, called for the arrest of Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship for sacrificing miners’ lives to squeeze out maximum profits. "U.S. marshalls should go to where he lives," Roberts thundered. "Handcuff him, put him in chains, take him to jail, set his fine at $40 million." The crowd roared.

Later, Roberts hailed President Obama’s statement on mine safety. "His commitment to miners’ health and safety is, in my experience, unmatched by any previous president," Roberts said, adding, "I especially applaud President Obama’s determination that miners must have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions. UMWA members … have that right written into their contracts, but non-union miners do not have the protection of a contract and are at risk of being fired if they refuse to work in conditions that threaten their lives or their health." …

Obama called for stiffer inspection and enforcement. Flanked by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main, and Mine Safety and Health Administrator Kevin Stricklin, the president told reporters, "There’s still a lot that we don’t know but we do know that this tragedy was triggered by a failure at the Upper Big Branch mine – a failure first and foremost of management, but also a failure of oversight and a failure of laws so riddled with loopholes that they allow unsafe conditions to continue."

Stronger mine safety laws were passed in 2006 after the Sago Mine disaster, Obama continued, "but safety violators like Massey have still been able to find ways to put their bottom line before the safety of their workers, filing endless appeals instead of paying fines and fixing safety problems.

"I refuse to accept any number of miner deaths as simply a cost of doing business," Obama said.

The president added, "For a long time, the mine safety agency (MSHA) was stacked with former mine executives and industry players." Obama said he is proud that MSHA is now headed by "former miners and health safety experts," Joe Main, former UMW director of safety and health, and mining engineer Kevin Stricklin, a lifelong advocate of miner safety.

And yet there are still mining accidents.

How is that possible?

Massey Energy "should be held accountable for decisions they made and preventive measures they failed to take," Obama continued. "But this isn’t just about a single mine. It’s about all our mines. The safety record at the Massey Upper Big Branch mine was troubling [and] far too many mines aren’t doing enough to protect their workers’ safety."

"In addition," Obama added, "we need to make sure that miners themselves, and not just the government or mine operators, are empowered to report any safety violations."

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, announced his committee will hold hearings on the disaster.

When did Hugo Chavez nationalize the mines?

Is Mr. Obama ahead or behind his schedule.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, April 17th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

20 Responses to “Mine Union Boss Says: Jail Massey CEO!”

  1. proreason says:

    When our benevolent government takes over managing the entire economy, there will be no more work-related accidents.

    Just like in Russia and China. Think about it….you never hear about any mining accidents in those paradises do you?

    Praise be to Lenin, Mao and Fidel.

    • Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

      Well you do hear about the actual accidents occasionally but you never hear about the replacement workers ordered to resume work immediately when one happens.

  2. crate says:

    I heard a reply by the mining co Thursday I have not heard it since it say Mr Obama does not know what he is talking about… From the beginning of this story I knew the owner HAD to be Republican.

  3. canary says:

    Obama’s threat to bankrupt the coal Industry led to coal workers disregarding safety and working harder.

    What stunned me after the heart wrenching coal tragedy was Obama’s comment he did not know coal mining was so dangerous.
    I guess Obama never knew or spoke to a coal-miner in his life. And you can bet the Coal Miners Unions Presidents didn’t care too much either about safety; pushing the envelope to fill their own pockets fast..

    It was Nov election day that I heard on Fox of the leaked SF Chronicle interview, that SF Chronicle kept secret. And most the coalminers and Pennsylvanians had voted on the prior day before early voting day.

    Obama speaks clearly that he will be the one to bankrupt the coal industry through cap & trade. (clearly with some le buh’s uh’s)


    Transcript of Obama’s words and more on this issue at link below:

    Did SF Paper Hide Obama’s Coal Quote? | Sweetness & Light

    • canary says:

      Did the coalminers miss Obama’s statement that even shale would not be acceptable, as any digging on the earth leads to earthquakes?

      anyone notice the black lung issue come-back prior to this?
      So, Obama will add the safety issue to the environment issue, and slowly take money from the Coal industry.

      Recall Obama’s Environmental Czar Van Jone’s sassy speech in CA that coal-miners needed early retirement. giggle giggle.

    • proreason says:

      “Obama’s comment he did not know coal mining was so dangerous”

      What does he know?

      He has lived his entire life in a marxist bubble.

      He knows virtually nothing about the real world.

      All he knows is the lies that have been drummed into his head.

  4. Petronius says:

    Nerobama’s dissin’ list just keeps growing and growing.

    Does any of this sound familiar? Hmmmm?

    Nerobama now:

    “There’s still a lot that we don’t know but we do know that this tragedy was triggered by a failure at the Upper Big Branch mine –– a failure first and foremost of management, but also a failure of oversight and a failure of laws so riddled with loopholes that they allow unsafe conditions to continue. . . . but safety violators like Massey have still been able to find ways to put their bottom line before the safety of their workers, filing endless appeals instead of paying fines . . . .” (Nerobama, 17 Apr 2010.)

    Yes, it’s always a failure of management, those greedy capitalist swine.

    Nerobama then:

    “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that [Prof. Gates case]. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly . . . and, number three, . . . there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos [humma, humma, humma]” (Nerobama, 22 July 2009.)

    Yes, it’s always those racist police.

    Yes, whether it involves the Cambridge police or Massey Energy or Wall Street or bankers or AIG executives or Bushitler-Cheney or the medical profession or Gen. Petraeus or the CIA or our officers and troops in Afghanistan or the Supremes or the Chamber of Commerce or tea party protesters or whoever . . . well, you can bet that they’re up to no good.

    They’re all just one great big fat axis of evil.

    Yes, it’s always a “failure of management,” a failure by those greedy mine operators with their Simon Legree overseers.

    And the answer is always the same: more government, more laws.

    And we’ve got to tighten up those “loopholes” that allow these mining companies to file legal appeals instead of just knuckling under to the government’s demands and forking over a truckload of cash. And while we’re at it, let’s make those rich shareholders pay their fair share of taxes on their big, fat dividends . . . make ’em pay 30 percent instead of 15 percent. Hell, why don’t we just outlaw appeals? And outlaw dividends? And outlaw coal? (Oh, wait . . . )

    But –– on the other hand –– when it comes to, say, the Fort Hood Massacre, well, in that case we must tread softly. We must wait until all the facts are in. We must compile every scrap of evidence. We don’t jump to conclusions. And we don’t rush to judgment. No, no, no, no, no. We must keep an open mind if it kills us.

    When is the press going to start calling this man on his blatant prejudices? “President of all the people” –– what a laugh.

    • proreason says:

      pharmaceutical companies
      medical equipment manufacturers
      Auto manufacturers
      oil companies
      mining companies
      careless soldiers
      Wall Street
      student loan lenders
      tea party attendees
      talk radio hosts
      Fox News
      Sean Hannity
      Rush Limbaugh
      Opponents of the HealthScare bill
      the Corner
      bitter clingers
      gun owners
      people clinging to religion
      Palin who has no nuclear experience
      McCain who can’t get over the election
      Goldman Sachs
      GM bondholders
      other greedy investors
      people who don’t like taxes
      people who call him a socialist
      the English, Israelies, France, Georgians, Poles
      Petraeus and MacChrystal who are tacticians, not stategic thinkers
      people who think the US is exceptional

      just to name a few anti-Obamites, off the top, in 5 minutes

    • canary says:

      After Bush passed safer laws for coal-miners

      Union Boss Roberts, says Obama called for stiffer inspection and enforcement than any President in history.
      (yeah, all geared to not harm the earth)

      How the heck can Roberts bald-face lie, when Obama said he didn’t know coal-miners had it so unsafe.

      Union Boss Roberts with his big union salary & pension in his pocket, won’t care if safer means miners work 1 hour a day.

      Reminds me of Senator Obama explaining a black Illinoise organizer telling Obama not to worry too much about illegal Mexicans taking jobs Blacks could be doing, because they were jobs Blacks didn’t want to do, which is another story for Obama to say just how bad blacks have it.
      (oops. Do you capitalize blacks and whites? so confusing)

    • PR… paying attention demands re-education

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    Need I say??? .. Bush’s fault.

    Well .. the o-blah-blah dude was partially correct when he said, “There’s still a lot that we don’t know …” STOP RIGHT THERE, dunce!!!

    There’s a tremendous bunch that you don’t know. Including your heritage; or is that just clouded by your total inability to absorb and convey the truth (?).

    And Mr Union panderer bigmouth .. how ’bout you jail your union bosses that did NOTHING knowing of s’posed violations? Or the numerous gang of federal “inspectors” who’d been there before? Or how ’bout this lunatic who calls himself president .. he wants to bankrupt the coal industry and put ALL your workers OUT OF WORK, you nitwit.

    Good gawd .. and these people breed.

  6. canary says:

    Coal miner Union Boss Roberts should be charged and jailed for 1.admitting he does not represent non-union members or enforce safety.
    2. For his life-threatening intimidation to the safety of non-union worker’s, for personal gains to line his pockets.

    said, adding, “I especially applaud President Obama’s determination that miners must have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions. UMWA members … have that right written into their contracts, but non-union miners do not have the protection of a contract and are at risk of being fired if they refuse to work in conditions that threaten their lives or their health.” …

    Jail Roberts for Labor Violations & Involuntary manslaughter for not earning his dues.
    Someone should ask Roberts for documents and ask when the last time he got off his bum and worked in a coal mine.

  7. canary says:

    Bush passed the most significant legislation in 30 years to protect Miners.

    U.S. Dept of Labor MSHA’s

    The ‘‘MINER Act’’

    The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, also known as the MINER Act, was signed by President George W. Bush on June 15, 2006. This legislation, the most significant mine safety legislation in 30 years, amends the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and contains a number of provisions to improve safety and health in America’s mines.


    U.S. Dept of Labor Mine Safety & Health Administration Home Page

    No where does it say non-union workers are not entitled to the same safety regulations that union paying due coal miners receive.

  8. canary says:

    Blame it on Obama’s appointed former Union Officer (coal safety expert) in Sept 2009 to protect the people who paid his paycheck for 5 decades of expertise. Why not fire Joe, Obama’s expert.

    To the right of Obama is his Assistant Secretary of Labor Mine Safety & Health


    AllGov.: Mine Safety and Health Administration: Who is Joe Main?
    Tuesday, April 06, 2010

    A career union official and mine safety expert, Joseph A. (Joe) Main’s selection as Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health in the Department of Labor represents a dramatic turnaround for the leadership of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, which favored the coal and other mining industries during the Bush administration, even after several high-profile mine disasters killed dozens of workers. Main was confirmed by the Senate on October 21, 2009.

    Born in Waynesburg, PA, Main graduated from the National Mine Health and Safety Academy as part of his five-decade career in the mining industry. … it wasn’t long before he became a union safety committeeman and served in various local union positions for the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

    In 1974, Main accepted a position as Special Assistant to the International President of the UMWA. Two years later he joined the union’s safety division, serving as a safety inspector, administrative assistant, and deputy director.

    In 1982 he was appointed administrator of UMWA’s Health and Safety Department, where he would remain for the next 22 years and manage the international health and safety program and its staff.

    After retiring from the UMWA, Main began working as a mine safety consultant. ….

    Labor leaders were delighted by Main’s nomination to takeover the Mine Safety and Health Administration. “I don’t think Obama could have chosen anyone better for the job,” Tony Oppegard, a Lexington, KY, lawyer and mine-safety advocate, …

    Oppegard added that Main’s nomination signaled a change of direction in terms of mine safety in this country. “It’s a 180 degree shift from the policies of the Bush administration and its favoring of coal industry executives.”

    -Noel Brinkerhoff


    President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts (White House press release)
    Mine Safety Advocates Praise Obama’s Choice to Lead Agency (by Halimah Abdullah, McClatchy Newspapers)
    Mine Safety and Health Administration (AllGov)

  9. proreason says:

    “Massey Energy “should be held accountable for decisions they made and preventive measures they failed to take,” Obama continued. ”

    Let’s review the career of the man who demands that Massey Energy “be held accountable”

    Occidental College – lived with an older Pakistani male who dressed him beautifully. Participated in Marxist discussions where he took the position that European Marxism wasn’t radical enough. Revolution is necessary. No transcripts from Occidental have been published

    Columbia College – little is known of his Columbia days except that he lived with different Pakistanis, a few blocks away from Bill Ayers. He published one article that demonstrated a pedestrian writing style. The student body president who knew everybody has never met anyone who remembers Barack. Described by one professor as a “mediocre student”. No transcripts from Columbia have been published.

    Community Organizer in Chicago – his mentor admits they never accomplished anything. Poor people today live exactly as they lived before Obama showed up. No records of his Community Organizer days exist.

    Harvard Law School. – Nobody can say how such a mediocre student was admitted. But he was anointed editor of the Law Review although he had never written a legal article. People who knew him then said he showed up occasionally for a few minutes and talked a lot. He didn’t edit anything. No transcripts from Harvard have been published.

    Civil Rights Attorney for less than 1 year – he never argued a case. His name appears on no known documents. A fellow lawyer at his firm says that he irritated people by spending his time with his feet on his desk working on his self-indulgent autobiography. He has since let his law license expire, an action akin to letting a medical license expire. Most lawyers die with active licenses. No records of his activities as a lawyer exist.

    Author – received a $100,000 advance and later a $40,000 advance which he blew in short-order. After “working” for 2 years, he had nothing. He went to Bali to relieve writer’s block, but nothing happened there either. Then he married Thunderbutt, and they entered a whirlwind of social activities. She had him ask Bill Ayers for help, although he didn’t know Bill, who lived a couple of blocks away, about the same distance as he lived away at Columbia, where Barack didn’t know him either. They hauled Barack’s papers to Bill’s house, and then a miracle happened somehow. In a few months, a virgin birth happened, and the book was completed, although Bill Ayers, the acclaimed and elegantly professional writer had nothing to do with it. Critics agree that Barrack, the author of 2 strange poems, and one mediocre college article at Columbia had written the greatest work by a politician of all time….only comparable to Julius Caesar. No preliminary drafts of the masterpiece exist.

    CEO of the Annenberg Challenge – led the effort to give away $50,000,000 dollars to Chicago educators. Although he hardly knew Bill Ayers, Mr. Ayers was responsible for naming him to the position. They worked for two years in the only two offices on the same 400 square foot floor of a building, but Barack hardly ever saw or talked to Bill. They also worked on another foundation at the same time, but they had almost no contact. Critics say the money for the challenge was wasted and that education is no better or worse in Chicago now than before the challenge. The Challenge records are sealed.

    State Senate career – the long-time holder of the seat decided to run for Congress and anointed Barack as her successor. The succession was announced in Bill Ayers home, who Barack hardly knew. Then she changed her mind and decided to run for the seat again. Barack refused to step aside and his thugs got her and all the other challengers for the seat disqualified. Thus he ascended to the State Senate where, for the next 8 years, he did nothing. No bills. No accomplishments. In the 9th year, another virgin birth occurred, and somehow Barack’s name appeared on 20 bills. The fact that the long-time, powerful, black speaker of the house became little Barack’s angel had nothing to do with Barack’s astonishing success. Baracks State Senate records are sealed.

    US Senate career – Barack’s thugs got the sealed divorce records of his primary opponent unlocked. The man had engaged in kinky sex and melted away in embarrassment. Barack’s thug’s then got the sealed divorce records of his Republican opponent unlocked. The man had engaged in kinky sex (yes) and didn’t have a chance. Thus Barack ascended to the US Senate. There, his name appears on no bills. He was late at least 19 times for committee meetings for which he always apologized as if it was the only time it had ever happened. But he gave a lot of speeches, and millions of copies of his book were sold although nobody knew who he was. He was rated the most liberal Senator. Apparently, attending sessions and voting is not required to win the award. Baracks 135 days as a US Senator are an open book. A book with 2 or 3 pages.

    This is the man who didn’t know that mining is dangerous work but has not let it stop him from haranguing and demonizing the CEO of a mining company, a man who now must live with the tragic loss of 29 employees, lives which he surely wishes with all his heart could have been saved.

    • canary says:

      Both Bill Ayers and Obama were on the Socialist Party list. They were on the same committee to lower discipline for young gangbangers. Saw Obama and Hillary debate in which Hillary found it very important to mention Obama’s ties with Ayers, only Obama retorted, your husband pardoned him.
      Giggles, and Hillary smiled. She should have responded “I do not channel for Bill Clinton. Often she said she was against her husband Bill’s measure for partial birth abortion, but failed to use that against Obama too. Course, one can imagine, if Obama brought up other legal problems of Hillary’s law office. Too bad, she could have mentioned & agreed what a lousy lawyer Obama was.

    • Petronius says:

      Great post, Pro.

      As shown here by Pro, when Nerobama talks so glibly about “accountability,” he is totally out of his depth.

      In speaking of accountability, Nerobama is attempting to deal with a principle that is wholly beyond his character, life experience, and competence.

      Accountability? For Pete’s sake!! This from a man who cannot make a budget, pay bills, or balance the nation’s checkbook. Who gives us confiscations, redistributions, bankruptcy, and 10 percent chronic unemployment as an economic policy –– as a way of life, as “the new normal”?

      Accountability? From a man who offers apologies and capitulation to enemies, and betrayal and insults to allies.

      Yes, he is always so eager to hold somebody else –– some businessman, some conservative, some military man, some life-enhancing medical professional, some Christian –– accountable. Again and again we find Nerobama busily fixing blame. Busily denigrating that which is best in our civilization. Busily scape-goating. It is always his first reaction. Dissin’ is practically his trademark. One might go so far as to call it . . . “the Obama Doctrine.”

      (Can’t wait to hear Charlie Gibson ask the next Democrat Vice Presidential candidate to explain . . . “the Obama Doctrine.”)

  10. canary says:

    Obama’s appointment of Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main (former coal mining Union Boss and coal safety expert) needs to be investigated as to the back log and red tape, in ignoring the coal miners safety complaints. He had 50 years experience in coal safety, then the actual power of nearly 7 months to clear up the red tape,
    All those complaints and appeal Joe Main delayed, may have saved lives.
    That will be interesting because, there’s been plenty of time for the paper shredding game.

  11. canary says:

    Some excerpts from Social Equality’s link below, say Obama’s MHSA regulators aided and abetted Massey, and are part to blame for doing nothing. Say safety didn’t get better under Obama.

    Social Equality: Massey drove up production prior to West Virginia mine disaster
    April 16, 2010

    ….Operated by Massey Energy, the mine has a history of safety violations that were
    ignored by both the company and federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA) regulators….

    The media and both Democratic and Republican politicians, along with the United Mine Workers union, generally present Davitt McAteer as an “independent expert” on mine safety who will work on behalf of the miners. However, an objective review of his record suggests that McAteer will oversee another whitewash investigation, which will

    leave unpunished Massey Energy executives who are responsible for the miners’ deaths

    and the federal Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) officials who aided and abetted them.

    Federal regulatory system sanctions deadly conditions in US mines
    April 14, 2010

    More questions are emerging as to why Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) officials did not shut down Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine before the April 5 explosion which killed 29 coal miners.

    Last year MSHA inspectors issued 515 citations for safety violations at the mine. In the first three months of this year, MSHA inspectors cited Massey for another 124 safety violations—a rate of 10 per week.

    Yet MSHA officials—who work for the Obama administration’s Labor Department—never designated the mine as having a “pattern of violations,” which would have given inspectors greater power to enforce safety standards, including ceasing operations at the mine.

    Miners and the friends and families of those who were killed have been asking the obvious question as to why MSHA, the government agency mandated to ensure the safety of miners, allowed Massey to continue to put miners’ lives at risk despite its flagrant disregard for the most basic safety requirements.

    and the complicity of the federal and state agencies that allowed the mine to continue operating despite ample warnings of an impending disaster.

    the deadliest mine disaster in four decades—
    show that the transition to a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress has changed nothing.

    Last Friday, President Obama announced that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)—headed by former United Mine Workers safety director Joe Main—would provide him with a preliminary report “on what went wrong and why it went wrong so badly, so that we can take the steps necessary to prevent such accidents in the future.”

    In addition, evidence exists that top MSHA officials are also criminally responsible for failing to carry out their responsibility to ensure miners’ safety.

    Families of workers killed in the West Virginia mine explosion are beginning to bury their loved ones, as residents speak out against Massey Energy
    and government regulators responsible for the disaster.

    The facts show as well that federal regulators, well aware of the deadly conditions in the mine, did nothing to force the company to comply with safety laws and protect the miners…


  12. Liberals Demise says:

    “Mine Union boss says……..”

    S-W-E-E-T !!

« Front Page | To Top
« | »