Thursday, April 22, 2010

Massey Keeping It Classy

Massey Energy Company, the owners of the collapsed West Virginia mine that killed 29 people, sure has felt remorse for their actions:

Massey Energy, the Virginia-based coal giant that runs the Upper Big Branch Mine, has denied time off for miners to attend their friends’ funerals; has rejected makeshift memorials outside the mine site; and, in at least one case, required a worker to go on shift even though the fate of a relative — one of the victims of the April 5 disaster — remained unknown at the time, according to some family members and other sources familiar with those episodes. In short, the company might be taking heat for putting profits and efficiency above its workers, but it doesn’t appear to have changed its tune in the wake of the worst mining tragedy in 40 years.

Of course,  Massey holds all the cards. We've already forgotten about the West Virginia tragedy. The disaster hasn't led us to rethink coal, to demand more regulations for coal, or anything else. There will be a brief uptick in safety inspections and then everything will be back to normal. Massey will continue to not value its workers lives or dignity. They will continue resisting unionization. They will continue lobbying to undermine safety regulations. And we will still flip on our lights and air conditioners. We have blood on our hands too, but we don't care.