Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Capitalism Killed West Virginia Miners

Murder in a Non-Union Mine – Blood for Profits

Twelve miners at the Sago mine in West Virginia are dead following a January 2 mine explosion. This was not an unforeseeable accident but cold-blooded murder for coal company profits. Rescue workers were held back and didn’t even go into the mine for 12 hours. Moreover, Sago was a non-union mine, and everyone knew it was unsafe: the mine owners knew it, the government knew it, and the miners knew it – but they went to work anyway, because they feared for their jobs. Up to the 1970s, miners in the United Mine Workers (UMWA) union had the right, won through hard class struggle, to simply walk off the job if they considered conditions to be unsafe. Not so today. The worst West Virginia mine disaster in almost 40 years is the product of the destruction of labor unions and shredding of union gains throughout the U.S., and particularly of the downfall of the UMWA. And that is the direct result of the lack of a revolutionary leadership of labor with the program and determination to take on and defeat the bosses in the unrelenting class war.

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