Where are the Unions when you need them?!
I've been watching the progress of the WV mine rescue (which looks at this point like it is going to be a recovery of remains, rather than life-saving operation) with anguish and anger. Anguish for the poor men who appear to have perished, and for their families, their children, their friends. Anger because the mining company had 208 safety violations in the past year, nearly half of them substantial. And according to US gov officials, it is not the worst among the safety records of mines. Indeed, they are saying it's fairly typical for mines of its size.
"Federal regulators' allegations against the Sago Mine included failure to dilute coal dust, which can lead to explosions, and failure to properly operate and maintain machinery, according to the U.S. Labor Department," reports AP news. "Ninety-six of the citations were considered "significant and substantial" by inspectors." And the average fine -- $250. That's gotta got hurt.
Where the heck are our unions -- insisting on decent working conditions? Where are our government oversight agencies whose job it is to protect workers? I feel like I'm living back in the 1880s.