Miners in the US
By Samuel Davidson, 9 January 2020
Following the pattern of Blackjewel, Perry County Coal Company has refused to give miners their final paycheck and money for unused vacation days.
“They treat us like cavemen. They don’t care if we live or die.”
By Evan Blake and Jerry White, 30 December 2019
On strike for 11 weeks against Asarco LLC, the miners have shown great determination in the face of a virtual blackout by the mainstream media and pro-corporate unions.
By Jerry White, 20 December 2019
As the strike by nearly 2,000 copper miners enters the third month everything depends on workers breaking the isolation of the struggle by the United Steelworkers and other unions.
By Samuel Davidson, 16 November 2019
The strike by 2,000 copper miners in Arizona and Texas against massive concessions demands has entered its second month, while the United Steelworkers seeks to isolate and betray the strike.
By Jessica Goldstein, 25 October 2019
The unions are attempting to put maximum pressure on workers by providing totally inadequate strike pay and other support, forcing many to seek public assistance.
By Jessica Goldstein, 22 October 2019
The United Steelworkers is colluding along with other unions and the company to wear down the resolve of the workers on strike against Asarco through isolation and poverty.
By Jessica Goldstein, 18 October 2019
Mineworkers at Asarco have immense support from their brothers and sisters in the working class who are willing to fight with them, but the United Steelworkers, Teamsters and other unions are determined to keep them isolated.
By Samuel Davidson and Jessica Goldstein, 15 October 2019
The strike by Asarco copper miners in the US is part of a growing movement that includes miners and key sections of transport, service and industrial workers across the globe.
By Samuel Davidson, 6 September 2019
Tanner Lee, who leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old son, is the latest victim of the gutting of mine safety regulations in the drive for production and profits.
By Samuel Davidson, 2 September 2019
Tanner Lee McFarland was killed Thursday evening when part of the wall and roof in the area of the mine he was working collapsed, crushing him under tons of coal and rock.
By Samuel Davidson, 23 August 2019
Miners blocking shipments of coal from a bankrupt mine have the backing of other workers and residents in eastern Kentucky
“It’s not just miners, but all blue-collar workers, like the teachers, who have been mistreated too”
By a WSWS reporting team, 16 August 2019
Two miners who have played a prominent role in the blockade of the coal train in Cumberland, Kentucky, spoke to the WSWS about their struggle to obtain back pay from the bankrupt coal company.
By Naomi Spencer, 7 August 2019
The determined resistance of the miners in Harlan County, Kentucky, has demonstrated once again that the dividing line in America is class, not race or ethnicity.
By Samuel Davidson, 3 August 2019
Out-of-work coal miners are now in their sixth day of blocking railroad tracks, preventing the bankrupt Blackjewel LLC from moving coal out of the Harlan County, Kentucky, mine where they worked.
By Naomi Spencer, 30 July 2019
After weeks without work or pay from the bankrupt company, miners blocked the removal of coal from an idled Blackjewel mine in Harlan County, Kentucky.
By Zachary Thorton, 23 July 2019
Another coal giant has declared bankruptcy, leaving devastation in its wake as hundreds of workers are out of work and owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.
By Naomi Spencer, 14 March 2019
Adam DeBoard, 38, died of head injuries after falling from a highwall at a Greenbrier County, West Virginia surface mine last week.
“Everyone in the mine is very mad and concerned”
By Samuel Davidson, 25 February 2019
Despite record levels of production at Consol Energy’s Pennsylvania Mining Complex the company has not rehired miners assigned to rock dust crews who were recently laid off.
By Naomi Spencer, 17 December 2018
The tragedy unfolded just a few miles from the scene of the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster, where 29 miners lost their lives in a massive explosion.
By Evan Cohen, 31 October 2018
The death of the 42-year-old miner was one of several fatalities in October in metal and non-metal mines across the US.
By Tom Hall, 23 July 2018
Decades after the deadly disease was nearly eradicated, more than one in five veteran coal miners now suffer from black lung disease.
By Eddie Haywood, 14 May 2018
The May 3 incident comes amid an overall rise in fatal mining accidents across the country in recent years.
Book traces history of West Virginia miners’ struggles
2 March 2018
West Virginia teachers and their supporters will find in this work an important resource for gaining insight into the broader issues they face.
By Samuel Davidson, 22 February 2018
The closure of the 4 West Mine in southwestern Pennsylvania will be another blow to workers in the area, which already suffers from high unemployment and poverty.
By Clement Daly, 12 January 2018
The surge in mining deaths reflects the deterioration of working conditions in the US coal industry.
By Keisha Gibbs, 6 September 2017
The Trump administration has ordered an abrupt halt to a study into potential public health hazards in areas near surface coal mining operations in Central Appalachia.
By Naomi Spencer, 1 July 2017
The deaths of two coal miners last month put 2017 on track to reach fatality figures not seen since the relative boom period of 2011-13.
By Jerry White, 6 June 2017
Stripped of the demagogy and lies, the line of the Trump administration amounts to the proposition that miners must place their full trust and confidence in the benevolence of the coal bosses.
By Naomi Spencer, 22 May 2017
A West Virginia coal miner was killed May 18, bringing to seven the number of fatal coal mine accidents in the US this year.
By Samuel Davidson, 13 May 2017
Don Blankenship is free after one-year in prison over the deaths of 29 coal miners in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010.
By Samuel Davidson, 1 May 2017
The extension of medical coverage for 22,600 retired miners for another 20 months is being considered, but such a package would likely exclude pensions.
By Naomi Spencer, 13 April 2017
Two accidents in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky coal mines bring to five the total number of US coal miners killed this year.
By Samuel Davidson, 29 March 2017
On March 1, the United Mine Workers of America Health and Retirement Funds sent a letter to 22,600 retirees and widows informing them their retiree benefits would be cut off.
By Clement Daly, 18 March 2017
Jason Kenneth Matthews was killed at the Bishop Preparation Plant, owned by Jim Justice, West Virginia’s governor and richest man.
“If a miner comes between a coal operator and a dollar, they’ll always take the dollar”
By Samuel Davidson, 6 March 2017
Thousands of retired coal miners and surviving widows have been sent letters notifying them that their health benefits will be cut off April 30 when funding for 22,600 recipients runs out.
By Clement Daly, 7 February 2017
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who oversaw the Upper Big Branch mine where 29 West Virginia miners were killed in 2010, failed to overturn his conviction
By Naomi Spencer, 31 January 2017
Ray Hatfield, a Kentucky coal miner, was killed January 26 while working alone in a Pike County pit.
By Matt Rigel and Marcus Day, 27 January 2017
In the first US mining fatality of 2017, a truck operator died after a partial collapse at Linwood Mining and Mineral in eastern Iowa.
By Clement Daly, 19 December 2016
New reports have revealed a spike in the deadliest forms of the respiratory disease, which miners contract by inhaling coal dust.
By Jerry White, 13 December 2016
More than 120,000 retired coal miners are threatened with the cutoff of health and pension benefits over the next several months as the United Mine Workers Health and Retirement Fund runs out of money.
By Clement Daly, 7 December 2016
The growing insolvency of the various UMWA health and retirement funds is rooted in the continuing global economic crisis and the resulting collapse of commodities prices.
By Naomi Spencer, 9 August 2016
A coal miner died August 4 from burns sustained after a spark from his welder caused a massive ignition of the shaft on July 29.
By Clement Daly, 26 April 2016
Amidst the deepening global economic crisis, the world’s largest coal company declared bankruptcy, threatening the living standards and working conditions of its 7,100 global workforce.
By Clement Daly, 7 April 2016
Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was sentenced yesterday to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to willfully violate federal mine health and safety laws.
By Naomi Spencer, 1 April 2016
The fatality, the fourth in the US this year, comes as the state legislature considers scrapping coal mine safety laws.
By Clement Daly, 22 March 2016
In a string of bankruptcies, the courts are being used to attack the wages, pensions, health care and working conditions of miners—gains realized through decades of struggle.
By Naomi Spencer, 23 January 2016
Each week brings announcements of hundreds of layoffs in coal, rail or other industries across the state.
By Naomi Spencer, 22 January 2016
Three coal miners have died in separate accidents 19 days into the new year, the highest number to occur in such a period since 2006.
By Clement Daly, 4 December 2015
Blankenship was found guilty of only one misdemeanor count of conspiring to willfully violate federal mine health and safety laws but acquitted of more serious felony charges.
By Clement Daly, 25 November 2015
Blankenship was at the head of Massey when an explosion ripped through the company’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia on April 5, 2010, killing 29 miners.
By Clement Daly, 20 November 2015
Federal prosecutors rested their case against Don Blankenship on Monday and defense attorneys declined to call any witnesses.
By Jeff Lusanne, 29 October 2015
In response to plummeting coal production, two major railroads have suspended operations over century-old routes and laid off hundreds of workers in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
By Naomi Spencer, 26 October 2015
As the coal industry has hemorrhaged jobs, state and local social services have been slashed and inequality has soared.
By Clement Daly, 16 October 2015
Twenty-nine miners died in the April 5, 2010 explosion, the worst coal mine disaster in nearly four decades.
By Clement Daly, 5 October 2015
Massey boss Don Blankenship is not being charged with murder in the deaths of 29 coal miners, but faces three criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and making false statements.
By Samuel Davidson, 28 September 2015
Years of working in the coal fields produce an array of health problems, from back and spine injury to black lung.
By Naomi Spencer, 29 July 2015
The state has the highest unemployment and lowest workforce participation rates in the country, figures exacerbated by mass layoffs in coal, rail and other key industries.
By Clement Daly, 26 March 2015
It is nearly five years since the April 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch killed 29 West Virginia miners in the worst US mine disaster in nearly four decades.
By Evan Blake, 10 March 2015
The McElroy Mine, owned by the Murray Energy Corporation, has already received 189 citations from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration so far this year.
By Clement Daly, 13 January 2015
The wave of mine closures and layoffs in the US coal industry continued throughout the second half of 2014.
By Clement Daly, 19 December 2014
Kentucky coal miner Eli Eldridge, who was killed at Patriot’s Highland No. 9 mine, is the 15th coal miner fatally injured this year.
By Clement Daly, 28 November 2014
The United Mine Workers of America is working with Patriot Coal and the courts to suppress the opposition of miners, which erupted in a strike last month over unsafe conditions.
By Clement Daly, 19 November 2014
Nearly $70 million in delinquent fines are owed by 2,700 mining companies throughout the US.
By Naomi Spencer, 22 October 2014
The death at Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle Mine was the 13th US coal mining fatality this year
By Clement Daly, 29 September 2014
The most severe form of black lung, a preventable disease resulting from insufficient ventilation in coalmines, has increased tenfold over fifteen years.
By Clement Daly, 22 August 2014
Alpha Natural Resources plans to lay off approximately 1,100 coal miners and support staff at 11 affiliated coal mining operations in southern West Virginia by mid-October.
By Mike Head, 15 July 2014
Falling commodity prices and restructuring by mining and auto companies are expected to send the jobless rate even higher.
By Clement Daly, 2 June 2014
The Obama administration has unveiled new respirable dust standards for the nation’s coal mines.
By Clement Daly, 16 May 2014
The West Virginia mine where two miners died earlier this week had an appalling safety record with hundreds of violations and injuries.
By Naomi Spencer, 16 May 2014
The death of an Illinois miner Wednesday marks the sixth US coal mine fatality of the year, and the third in as many days.
By Naomi Spencer, 14 May 2014
Two miners were killed at a mine owned by Patriot Coal Monday night after the collapse of a roof and wall.
By Clement Daly, 5 April 2014
Saturday marks the fourth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine tragedy in Montcoal, West Virginia, when a massive explosion ripped through the Massey Energy-owned mine, killing 29 coal miners.
By Clement Daly, 20 February 2014
Numerous reports and studies have documented the alarming resurgence of black lung throughout the coal mining industry.
By Clement Daly, 13 January 2014
A group of radiologists at Johns Hopkins University Hospital has been instrumental in preventing thousands of coal miners from receiving black lung benefits.
By Naomi Spencer, 5 December 2013
The death of Ohio miner Ryan Lashley brings to 20 the number of US coal miners killed on the job this year.
By Nick Barrickman, 19 November 2013
The event marks the worst mine-related accident in the state since 1981, when an explosion claimed the lives of 15 workers.
By Naomi Spencer, 9 November 2013
A coal miner was crushed in a wall collapse Monday, bringing to 19 the number of US miners killed on the job this year.
By Clement Daly, 24 October 2013
Four coal miners were killed in separate incidents during the 16-day shutdown of the US government, as the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) operated with less than half its staff.
By Clement Daly, 15 October 2013
The United Mine Workers announced that it reached a “global settlement” with Patriot Coal and Peabody Energy.
By Clement Daly, 21 August 2013
UMW members in West Virginia and Kentucky approved a new contract with bankrupt Patriot Coal, which fails to secure funding for retiree health care
By Arun Kumar, Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 26 July 2013
There is growing discontent among Neyveli Lignite Corporation workers over the unions’ shutting down of their strike against the Indian government’s plans to privatise the highly-profitable coal-mining and power-generation company.
By Clement Daly, 16 July 2013
The UMW bureaucracy has responded to the historic assault on the living standards of miners with a series of impotent protests.
By Clement Daly, 4 June 2013
Patriot Coal has been granted permission to tear up its collective bargaining agreements with the United Mine Workers and escape its obligations to provide health care to its retirees.
Three years since West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster
By Kate Randall, 2 April 2013
Three years after the West Virginia tragedy, cuts threaten to further undermine mine safety, inevitably leading to more deaths.
By Naomi Spencer, 19 March 2013
The latest fatality comes in the wake of a statewide “safety standdown” called by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and the eruption of a fire in another mine.
By Naomi Spencer, 21 February 2013
A second miner has been killed in the same mine where a fatal accident occurred just two weeks ago.
By Clement Daly, 20 February 2013
US coal mining jobs dropped by 8.5 percent last year.
By Clement Daly, 19 February 2013
Two more US coal miners were killed last week, bringing the nation’s coal mining fatalities to five this year.
By Clement Daly, 13 February 2013
Two West Virginia coal miners were killed in as many days last week, bringing the nation’s coal mine fatalities to three this year.
By Naomi Spencer, 23 January 2013
Coal truck drivers at two Harlan, Kentucky mines initiated a strike over non-payment of wages.
By Clement Daly, 11 December 2012
Patriot Coal has announced it will phase out its mountaintop removal coal mining operations as part of a $440 million settlement with environmental groups.
By Clement Daly, 10 December 2012
St. Louis-based Peabody Energy has announced it will permanently close its Willow Lake Mine in southern Illinois, laying off 400 miners after a miner was crushed to death last month.
By Clement Daly, 21 November 2012
Patriot Coal is seeking to discharge health care and pension obligations for more than 22,000 miners through bankruptcy.
By Clement Daly, 20 November 2012
Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal mining company in the US, announced layoffs in response to the so-called “war on coal.”
By Tom Peters, 10 November 2012
The disaster was the outcome of the decades-long assault on the jobs, conditions and rights of workers aimed at boosting “international competitiveness.”
By Naomi Spencer, 29 September 2012
A roof collapse in a Tennessee mine early Wednesday claimed the life of a Harlan, Kentucky, miner.
By Samuel Davidson, 21 September 2012
In making the announcement, the company stated that it plans to shift production from less profitable thermal coal to the more profitable metallurgical coal.
By Naomi Spencer, 27 June 2012
A Pike County, Kentucky miner was crushed by a wall collapse Monday morning, bringing to 10 the number of US coal miners killed on the job this year.
By Clement Daly, 25 June 2012
The Obama administration has intervened on behalf of energy giant Alpha after federal mine inspectors issued an “imminent danger” order against one of its mines.
By Clement Daly, 12 June 2012
Last week, energy giant Alpha Natural Resources was cited by federal safety inspectors for more than 200 violations, including for hazards posing “imminent danger.”