Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rolling Back the Clock on Mine Safety

To the oligarchical fatcat pigs who now hold the reins of the presidency, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court, labor is just another commodity, a raw material to be used up, worn out and thrown away. It's like all of the advances of the last 100 years -- Teddy Roosevelt's Trust Busting, sometimes called the Square Deal, his cousin Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society in particular -- didn't happen.

Can anyone remember a more self-absorbed out-of-touch bunch of assholes being in positions of power in this country? You'd have to go back over 100 years, to the 1890s, the hey-day of Standard Oil, Carnegie Steel, and the American oligarchy to find this kind of thinking.

This is exactly what the powers behind the throne are attempting to do: Roll back the clock to the "good old days" of child labor, no minimum wage, no health and safety guarantees, and twelve-hour workdays, with zero regulations to reign in the fatcat corporatists who think it is their god-given right to rule us lesser mortals with an iron fist of greed.

We already see the results of deregulation in the mining industry. We have had 26 coal mine deaths already just this year. While it's not yet anywhere near the 3,242 deaths that occurred in 1907, the highest year for mining fatalities, it's on track to surpass the 29 deaths in 1998, the lowest year on record.

Mining remains dangerous work, and it's incumbent on us as a society to make that work as safe as possible. This becomes extremely more difficult when the Baby Doc Maladminstration, as it has done time and again with regulatory agencies, has appointed one David Lauriski, a mining industry executive, to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

It's a scary time for this nation and its people. And we have to fight these dirty bastards every step of the way. Join a union if you can -- for those of us who work for a living, unions are the only entities who are concerned with the lives and health and safety of the workers. If you think you can rely on the goodwill largess of an employer for the betterment of your wages, hours and working conditions, then you are a fool.


Granny said...

I remember when the unions meant something. Now though I wonder. I'd still join but sometimes it's hard to tell who's wearing the white hats.

rightwingnut said...

It might be that unions are all the people have left as the parties sell out to $$$$$$$

remember the presidents speech where everybody was happy that the US was more productive than ever?????

Rich people are happy we work harder! wOOt!