History of Coal Mining in West Virginia

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by LadyEagle, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    Due to the Current News of the poor miners trapped in the Coal Mine in West Virginia, thought this might be an appropriate topic:

    http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvcoal/
     
  2. Gwen

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    Thanks, LadyEagle! My grandfather was a coal miner for about 30 years, so I keep those poor miners and their families in my prayers. Hope and pray they are found alive.
     
  3. Bro. James

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    The never ending quest for energy to feed the unquenchable thirst of the military-industrial world has claimed 12 more lives in the coal mines of West Virginia. The Company will pay some fines, send some flowers and keep on digging in an unsafe work environment. Nothing new. Now what?

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  4. gb93433

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    Most every large building and large bridge has had people who have died while working on the project.

    People have even died building houses.
     
  5. Bro. James

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    To be sure; many have died in pursuit of a loaf of bread. Some have died on the way to church as well.

    My point was more related to the "Chinese Coolie" style of management used to produce more wealth for the wealthy. Everyone should be entitled to a safe place to work--with certain calculated risks of course. There is a certain calculated risk, which we assume when we arise each day. There are plenty of ways to check out early--but please, not from an employer's neglect.

    The mining company in question today has had dozens of safety citations in the past year.

    And the beat goes on.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  6. gb93433

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    A friend of mine physically died in the church I was pastoring.
     
  7. wwr 82

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    My grandfather was a ditcher in the WV coal mines. When you came out of the mines in those days you hung a little brass tag with your specific number on a board at the mine entrance. That told everyone you had made it out safely. One day he didn't come home so my grandmother alerts her brother and they go back to the mine. His tag wasn't on the board, so they knew he hadn't come out. What happened was that he went up a catacomb marking the way for the diggers. But the water rose very fast, and it hid his chalkmarks. These marks were to be used to find your way back out. They found him about 3 hours later, over waist deep in water, as high up on the coal vein as he could get. A little while later he probably would have drowned.

    My uncle was on a mine rescue crew, and had many horrible tales. There's a spot around Reevesville WV where they lost over 100 miners in an explosion. They were never able to get them all out. Brass markers are their tombstones, supposedly over the general location of the bodies. I myself was going to go into the mines after high school, but the jobs were few and far between. These men are completely aware of what they are doing and how very dangerous it is. It's a choice they made, and were probaly from generations of miners. If you can get into a mine, you can make a very good living,but the risk of your life being realiastically over every time you go down that shaft is very real. This won't be the last accident. That's the chance you take.
     
  8. Enoch

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    Despicable and callous! Highly offensive post.
     
  9. Bro. James

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    Bless you.

    Bro. James
     
  10. blackbird

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    My father in law works at a fossil fuel generator plant---pretty dangerous work environment----they "Pick up and put back" on the little work bench area inside the construction shack----their "Brass" every day also
     
  11. Major B

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    This was a soft coal mine, and its coal went to feed power plants, not make steel for weapons. So, brother, unplug your power if you want to make a statement supporting the proletariat against the capitalist barons of coal.

    Myself, as the son of a 40-year veteran of the soft coal fields, I understand that the coal miners take their chances for the money, which is as good as it gets for a working man in the hills (50,000-75,000 a year). I myself took another direction, at the recruiter's office, because I chose not to be a miner. That is called free market economics.

    Now, if the mine owners violated any laws or safety regulations, they should be liable civilly and criminally. That is called rule of law.

    And, if you want to live in a country with no military protection, Somalia beckons.
     
  12. Major B

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    My dad was a rescue team member and first aid expert, in addition to being the head machinist and maintenance mechanic at his mine. He saved many lives, including men who were horribly mangled.

    I demonstrated my high intelligence by eschewing the dangers and high pay of coal mining for a career in the military, working on an Air Force flightline, one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Of course, we also had the mother of all safety systems, and we took safety very seriously.

    I also did some crash investigating in the Air Force (graduate of the USC school of Crash Investigation), and I know what happens when safety violations get overlooked.

    In my enlisted days I was in the T-Tail of a C-141 one night, a dangerous place, with lots of things that can kill you if someone turns on the hydraulics. I had pulled the CBs and posted the "red tags," and left an airman watching the cockpit. While I was up there, the pumps came on and the t-tail started moving--I dropped the 30 feet from where I was to the deck in record time, and literally threw a semi-literate flight engineer out of the aircraft, then attempted to do something physically impossible with the cigarette that the airman was smoking in the break area 100 feet away from where he was supposed to be watching things.

    I could go on, but you get the picture. There are a lot of dangerous jobs--some people choose to do them. Some people die. As my dad would say, "if your number is up..."
     
  13. Bro. James

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    Hazardous duty ought to pay a lot more--that is not enough to cover the consequences of the inevitable black lung disease.

    The choices really seem to be: work the mines or live in poverty. Moving to another region/job is not an option. "Free market"?

    Whatever the reality might be, safety violations are unacceptable.

    Power costs have quadrupled since Katrina. Got any ideas on how to use demolished houses for fuel?

    Bro. James
     
  14. LadyEagle

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    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/coal-mine.htm

    I salute the coal miners of West Virginia and Kentucky. Some of them are my cousins, some I've met, some I haven't.
     
  15. Major B

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    Actually, my electric bill is the same. Natural gas has gone up drastically.

    I agree about safety violations, as my post above shows.

    As for not leaving the area, not to leave is a personal choice. I left--my extended family did not like it--but I left. In economics, there are intangible opportunity costs and tradeoffs, not just monetary ones. If an area of the country, or if living at home is so important that poverty is acceptable, so be it--that is a personal choice. Neither the government nor anyone else is obligated to force economic enterprises to either move to or stay in an area.

    Where we live now is fine for us, but is a slow growth area with not many good paying jobs, so my kids left for greener pastures. The roads run both ways, email works, and the telephones get cheaper all the time.

    My daughter made a lot of money in retail, now she is transitioning to teaching, where she will make a lot less, but which will have a better lifestyle for her to have and raise kids. Again, personal choice.

    Most of our immigrant ancestors came to the US to begin with because they did not like it where they were, for whatever reason. Personal choice is the hallmark of a free market.

    Yes, the folks in W Va have a free market, unless they are imprisoned. They have access to interstates that go north, south, east, and west.
     
  16. Major B

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    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/coal-mine.htm

    I salute the coal miners of West Virginia and Kentucky. Some of them are my cousins, some I've met, some I haven't.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Eagle lady--that is all true, if the year was 1930. It isn't. Company scrip (not script), or "flickers" a type of company "funny money", went out before I was born. W Va was a bit behind KY, but none of that nonsense exists now.
     
  17. SeekingTruth

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    LE, your post quoting www.globalsecurity.org is at best misleading. A more careful reading shows that the article was clearly describing conditions of many years ago. I was raised in a coal town in Kentucky, spent the first 11 years of my life in a company house, ate food bought from a companmy store, was seen by a company provided doctor when I was sick or injured, went to the movies in a company owned theater, etc. But the furniture belonged to my Mom and Dad. Dad was able to get free of the mines in 1945, and worked very hard to try to provide a way for his sons to avoid work in the coal mines.

    I think Major B sums it up accurately. These people can leave the mines fairly easy today if they choose. There are many more opportunities available than in the days my father worked as a miner. However, the wages are good and many men (and women) prefer mine work to any thing else they could do. I have family members today who work in the mines, and are adamant about staying in them, regardless of the danger involved.
     
  18. Phillip

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    What does the freedom of owning and employing people to work a coal-mine for profit in America have to do with the military?

    So, since energy is directed towards making our world function in today's society, it is bad?

    If you are a pastor, do you take a tax-deductable travel or car expense? If so, you are adding to America's insatiable thirst for energy. MOST energy in America goes into making gasoline--including coal. Then some of it is used to make electricity that keeps you warm at night.

    Again, I ask you, how does the military fit into all of this and why are you harping on the military? :confused:
     
  19. LadyEagle

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    Ya'll would really be crying about energy if all these people left the coal mines. Poverty in Appalachia is a cold hard fact that continues until today even though it is never talked about anywhere except on Feed the Children fundraisers.

    Remember Loretta Lynn's song, "Coal Miner's Daughter?" I submit that little has changed over the years.

    http://tinyurl.com/acehe
     
  20. LadyEagle

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    From this article...


    UMWA

     

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