Safer Union Mines
Studies show that union mines are much safer than non-union mines. A May 2011 report from the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics at Stanford University found a "substantial and significant decline in traumatic mining injuries and fatalities" at underground mines where the United Mine Workers of America represented workers.
The report found that over two decades there were:
- between 18 and 33 percent fewer traumatic injuries at union mines, compared to non-union operations;
- between 27 to 68 percent fewer fatal accidents at union mines (the range in figures accounts for possible statistical variations because of small sample sizes).
Need a Lawyer?
If you are a coal miner and need legal representation on a mine safety issue, we suggest you contact:
Lexington, Ky 40522
Above all else, coal companies should be diligent about the safety of their workers and the conditions inside their mines. Officials responsible for enforcing mine safety laws should do so wihout interference. And elected leaders should strengthen those laws when the need is clearly demonstrated.
Unfortunately, none of this happens as it should.
An examination of 320 coal mine deaths from 1996 to 2005 by Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette found that 91 percent of those deaths could be traced to a serious safety violation, including not performing required safety checks, poorly maintained equipment, roof control and ventilation violations, and inadequate training.
The disaster that killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia in April 2010 reminds us that not enough has changed since Ward's report. Yet legislation to address some of the enforcement issues brought to light by this tragedy is stalled in the U.S. Congress.
KFTC has established this space to provide news, analysis and opinions about mine safety issues. We'll update the list below as new articles and reports become available.
This report delivers the findings of a hearing in April 2013 hearing with members of the United Mine Workers of America miners, their families and dependents who are threatened with loss of their health care benefits. Present were retirees and family members, clergy, community and health care officials, union leaders, and labor experts to address how St.
Black lung disease and dust-induced lung diseases, such as emphysema and lung cancer, are on the rise among Appalachian miners.
Coal miners continue to die unnecessarily, and the lack of action by state and federal officials has something to do with this.
KFTC members are expected to join thousands of members and supporters of the United Mine Workers of America at a rally tomorrow in Charleston, WV.
A federal court has ruled that a Kentucky coal mine owes the government $1.67 million in fines for more than 1,200 safety violations over a six-year period.