August 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- Employees of a major coal industry donor to Republican causes have raised complaints about their participation in an event earlier this month organized for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the crucial swing state of Ohio. Several miners at Murray Energy's Century coal mine in Beallsville, Ohio, contacted a nearby morning talk radio host, David Blomquist, over the last two weeks to say that they were forced to attend an Aug. 14 rally for Romney at the mine. Murray closed the mine the day of the rally, saying it was necessary for security and safety, then docked miners the day's pay. Asked by WWVA radio's Blomquist about the allegations on Monday's show, Murray chief operating officer Robert Moore said: “Attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend the event.” The Century mine is owned by Robert Murray, an enthusiastic Romney supporter and major contributor to the Republican Party on his own and through Murray Energy, one of the largest private coal companies in the U.S. Murray and his wife have given Republican candidates a total of $471,185 since the 2008 election, including the maximum of $5,000 each to Romney this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
June 22, 1989 |
More than 42,000 coal miners in 10 states took part in wildcat strikes Wednesday that spread in Appalachia and the Midwest. Reports of violence and blockades mounted as coal companies sought relief from the courts. "It looks like the bulk of the industry is shut down," said Taylor Pensoneau, vice president of the Illinois Coal Assn. More than 7,000 miners in Illinois and 700 in Ohio joined the wildcat strike Wednesday in sympathy with about 1,900 United Mine Workers members striking Pittston Coal Group Inc. in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
May 11, 1993 |
The United Mine Workers ordered 2,000 miners on strike in Indiana and Illinois. The miners, who have worked without a contract since May 3, struck AMAX Coal Co., Zeigler Coal Co. and Arch Mineral Corp., union President Richard L. Trumka said. Thomas Hoffman, chief negotiator for the Bituminous Coal Operators Assn., which represents the nation's 12 largest coal companies, said he was disappointed by the decision. Talks between the union and the companies were suspended last week.
July 3, 2012 |
A derailed Spokane-bound train interrupted an interstate railroad thoroughfare for more than 24 hours, but the tracks were to reopen Tuesday night, BNSF Railway Co. officials said. The freight train derailed Monday, spewing 31 cars and tons of coal dust across the arid grasslands of southeast Washington. More than 50 workers from a nearby town bulldozed 30 of the 31 cars into a heap, righted the last one, and cleared the tracks, officials said. The derailment remains under investigation, but it provides fodder for opponents of a proposed increase in coal shipping in the Pacific Northwest.
June 28, 1989 |
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered an end to wildcat strikes by nearly 43,000 coal miners in nine states, saying they are violating U.S. labor law. U.S. District Judge Dennis Knapp said the walkout by United Mine Workers members violated National Labor Relations Act guidelines against secondary boycotts. The walkout began June 12 in support of 1,900 UMW members who went on strike April 5 against the Pittston Coal Group after working for 14 months without a contract. Knapp issued a temporary injunction at the request of the National Labor Relations Board.
June 15, 2011 |
"The Last Mountain" is a damning look at Big Coal and its landscape-decimating practices, a litany of disheartening statistics and enraging testimony. But director Bill Haney leavens the lament with a moving portrait of the West Virginia residents who are standing up to the bulldozing — physical and spiritual — to save an Appalachian peak from the fate of its neighbors. Whether the view is aerial or up close and personal, the documentary presents wrenching evidence that mountaintop removal mining is more expedient for the coal companies — key among them the headline-familiar Massey Energy — and disastrous for just about everyone else.