Monday, June 16, 2008

Mines on the Mind

Excuses and stalling seem to be game play for MSHA and Mine owners. One that comes to mind is Chad Cook and if you remember we started a petition Justice For Chad! Not long after the petition and several blogs and news articles they finally issued findings which unfortunately featured the mines investigation since it was the only documented information. It was a bitter sweet day. We were elated because we felt Cook's family would be able to go on but it seemed to be more of a token than an investigation (Success For The Cooks).

Well the inept MSHA is in the news again with:

The Courier-Journal's recent articles Good/Bad News and Investigation Drags on at Troubled Kentucky Mine.

In 2005 Russell was killed in Stillhouse Mine #1 and since then have had violations but guess what there are still no fines imposed and the mine is still running. Personally I think the good news is for the mine owners and the bad news is we will certainly loose more family members.

Claudia Cole's husband, Russell Cole, a 39-year-old veteran foreman, was one of the men killed in the roof fall, along with 23-year-old Brandon Wilder, a scoop operator with less than a year of mining experience. "I still think about it all the time," Claudia Cole said of her loss and the ensuing investigative delay. "I do wonder why it takes so long."

Tony Oppegard former federal and state mine-safety now advocating for safer mines. "I know everybody has workload concerns, but you ought to know in three years whether you're going forward," Oppegard said. "And if you don't know, you run the risk of attorneys for the company saying they've been prejudiced by the delay and asking at some point to dismiss the charges."

It really is a shame that workers/unions and their families have to fight tooth and nail with no real recourses for every little effort that MSHA and OSHA put into place. It hasn't been that long since Melissa Lee talked to 60 Minutes. Sooner or later those in charge of our health and safety will realize we are not just going to set back and take it any longer so they may as well fulfill their job descriptions. It would be nice the next time around to appoint someone who hasn't fought for the companies before they vowed to fight for us, seems like just a little conflict of interest.

Any how just thought I would share this one so everyone knew the fight was still on and looks like Tony is hard at work so if you get a chance give him your support by at least commenting on one of the articles! for the Cole's your in our thoughts and prayers.

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