A West Virginia coal mine owned by Massey Energy exploded and killed 29 miners last year, and now the owner of the mine has been ordered to pay $209 million in compensation and fines. Investigating officials say that the explosion was caused by a buildup of dangerous gases; the tragedy was entirely avoidable. The investigation into the mine explosion is still ongoing.
Union leaders want to see more than monetary damages. Cecil Roberts of the United Mine Workers of America said: “We firmly believe the evidence is there for criminal prosecution. Until someone goes to jail, there will be no justice done here.”
Coal mining is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States, with many hurt, killed or sickened every year from an industry that is destroying our planet’s environment. We need to end our dependence on fossil fuels, and hold the capitalists accountable for the exploitation of workers in these dangerous fields.