- Jun 2007
What would be a better angle with coal miner's unions is for Democrats to do their homework on how the coal companies have screwed the workers for decades, all the while blaming Democrats and environmentalists for the problems.I agree that is the better strategic approach, but they will also likely avoid taking this union president up on his invitation, because while they could attempt to keep the focus on health care, these workers will point blank ask these candidates if they support "Green New Deal" types of policies that promise to end coal mining and exports. Even the slimiest smooth-talking Democrat is going to struggle to deflect those types of questions. So their best bet is to avoid these types of people like the plague.
Some Things Worth Remembering on National Miner’s DayThey want us to forget that if it were not for land agents and coal companies swindling our forefathers, our communities would be in possession of the trillions of dollars of wealth that has been extracted and shipped out of our mountains over the past century.
They want us to forget that they once paid our forefathers in company scrip and that when our families banded together to fight for better safety, healthcare benefits, and a retirement pension to enjoy what little life they had left afterward the companies hired mercenaries to harass and kill union families.
They want us to forget that still today, they own the majority of private land and mineral rights in our counties. They want us to forget that despite owning all that wealth, they really don’t have to pay much in property taxes, revenues that would go towards our school systems and providing our children the education they would need to escape a life working in the mines or living in poverty where substance abuse prevails.
They want us to forget that there is still no decent mine safety legislation eight years after the Upper Big Branch disaster. Miners still do not possess the right to stop work in unsafe conditions without fear of losing their job or being passed over for another job following layoffs.