FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2023
UMWA Outraged at Coal Company’s Willful Violation Of Health And Safety Standards
[TRIANGLE, VA] Commenting on Black Diamond Coal’s guilty plea to willfully violating a mandatory federal health and safety standard, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“I have said this before and it is outrageous that I am having to say it again: This is yet another example of a company putting profits first and the safety of its workers last. The simple fact is that Black Diamond willingly put its miners at risk by falsifying dust samples.
“More than one hundred thousand coal miners in the last century have died a slow, painful death from Black Lung disease due to their exposure to respirable dust in their workplace and the number of young coal miners contracting this always-fatal disease is rising today. That’s because outlaw operators like Black Diamond continue to run coal mines without regard for the health and well-being of their workers.
“Union health and safety inspectors work to ensure that our members are as safe and healthy as possible on the job. But at non-union companies like Black Diamond, workers have no such protection.
“While I am glad to see that the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration caught this injustice, I also know that the punishment for this crime is far too little. This Black Diamond official created a condition in the workplace that can and likely will lead to the premature death of miners. A fine of $200,000 does not come close to atoning for that.”