Steelworkers’ President Leo Gerard: If Miners Were Union, They Could Have Refused Unsafe Work at Massey
United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard talked to Ed Schultz tonight and slammed Massey Energy and Don Blankenship for their negligence that led to the deaths of 25 miners in West Virginia.
Gerard, whose union represents thousands of hard rock miners in the United States and Canada, said that the disaster “absolutely could have been prevented.” While Massey racked of hundreds of violations and millions in fines, Gerard said the company would rather pay the fines than care about the safety of its workers while noting that CEO Don Blankenship “promotes himself as a unionbuster.”
“I can absolutely say that if these miners were members of a union, they would have been able to refuse unsafe work… and would not have been subjected to that kind of atrocious conditions,” said Gerard. “In some places like in Australia and Canada, this kind of negligence would result in criminal negligence [charges] being brought against the management and the CEO.”
We can only hope.