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"They're Crooks": Coal Industry Aims to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis to Cut Payments to Miners With Black Lung

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/11/theyre-crooks-coal-industry-aims-exploit-coronavirus-crisis-cut-payments-miners


“[A] group of around 120 retired miners traveled to Washington, D.C. to demand congressional action to secure the fund’s finances, only to be brushed aside by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.”

These miners need to begin by voting this monster out and leading the radicalization of our labor movement and be the first ones hired in the new Green Economy. They can contact the I.W.W. to set up a chapter in Kentucky: 1. Industrial Workers of the World General Headquarters PO Box 180195, Chicago, IL 60618, USA tel: (773) 728-0996.

We are at exactly a century after the Great Depression and here we are confronted with the same damn indifference to Life in exchange for private profit. What is encouraging is that a movement is surfacing and now to unite! Solidarity!

What this SARS 2 is highlighting is what needs to change in our society, the absolute failure of capitalism for the majority, the vulnerable and our eco-systems upon which we all depend.


Colonizing predatory industries built the banks that are strangling life on the planet - always have always will until they learn that we are ALL part of Mother Nature and as their own “advertising” industry twisted the origins of their wealth … " Its not nice to fool Mother Nature" . Funny how these abusers of life must use our own language to leverage their criminality.

What was it the Red Queen would say in Alice’s Adventures???


You are trying to push socialism? Look how bizarre that is? You have no empathy or compassion for these workers either. You write for them to lead the fight to radicalize the industry and be the first ones hired back in a new green economy? Is that right?

These workers have black lung. It is a form of COPD (emphysema) and prevents them from working. Did you miss the man’s comment that they don’t know what will happen when the virus hits their area because he thinks ‘…it will just wipe us out.’? He didn’t mean getting wiped out economically - he meant them f’kn dying! Wiped out - DEAD!

First ones hired in a future Green Economy. You want to ‘take this opportunity’ to have them join with an international socialism organization that ended as a real force in the thirties? In Kentucky no less. My aren’t you the helpful one.

Of course they’re Crooks, they’re Capitalists and Capitalists are Sociopaths. They don’t feel compassion, kindness, generosity, or empathy, like normal people, they feel greed and a lust for power and wealth. One might say, it’s the nature of the beast.


The pandemic is exposing the normalization of a brutal culture of cruelty across the corporate and financial world among the many greedy and pathetic members of the power elite.


I thought you said you were through “conversing” with me. Now we are through.

Consider yourself ignored.


They are very ready and willing to flush any semblance of their humanity down the toilet for their selfish ideology based on greed. What is so remarkable is that this nation claims a judeo-christian ethos.


In a crisis, you see everyone’s true colors. Do people (or corporations) think about themselves or do they support one another.

Corporations are great at coming up with BS excuses, like having their fiduciary responsibility, to be selfish. And frankly just cruel.


Wait, coal Barons are treating their injured and sick employees like shit? Well, colored me shocked.
You miners do know where you work, and who you work for, right? You work for men who treat you and the environment like a toilet. Men who lobby governors, congressmen and presidents every day so that they can continue to shit down your throats with impunity. And now you have the unmitigated gaul to complain that, when you are sick or injured, they simply flush you down that toilet and hire someone like your son who will gleefully step in to do you job, at less wages and benefits than you did it for.
Miners are no different than soldiers. They have to know who they are working for and how they will be treated. But then again, they voted in droves for men like Donald Trump and Jim Justice, so what can be said?
Elections have consequences. Think about that when you’re coughing up a lung and drinking poisoned water.


@Giovanna you wrote - that these workers ‘…be the first ones hired in the new green economy’.

People with Black Lung live about ten or twelve years. They are disabled (Black Lung Disability Trust Fund) and on oxygen. They cannot return to work is my point! Your comment’s casual reference to them being rehired upset me. It seemed almost like something Mitch McConnell or Labor Secretary Scalia might also say.

Every day we get new stories about the scum that slither forth to lobby for their own POS proposals to take advantage of the Covid-19 crisis. Every day we see more examples of the immoral and despicable motivations of capitalists; greed, avarice, and sociopathic plunder. They slither from one side to another on issues with no moral fence to jump over. You can’t put up a moral fence to confine something that slithers. Capitalism will lead to the destruction of human life, but not all life. I think some insects and some biological, microscopic forms will survive us. My money is on ants, the ultimate socialists.


The pandemic is also exposing how voters choose to elect politicians that continually work against the peoples best interests. Very sad indeed.


The conundrum replicates itself with a viral ferocity.

Likely that many of these unfortunate coal miners also vote regularly for the politics that victimizes them.
Capitalism successfully divides and conquers election after pseudo-election, holding poverty or the job wealthy elites offer you as the only choice. This is the undeniable outcome of corrupted politics and a misinformed, misguided electorate created by a culture of blind conformity and loyalty to class.

Look how terribly these people will suffer for these enactments of ignorance and blindness.


Who actually writes these BS articles?Anyone who believes Socialism is some “Cure” for Capitalism needs a serious Reality check and they need to RUN, not walk to get themselves a decent High School Education focusing on World and U.S. History, Geography and Absolutely Civics, Economics and Probably Ethics. If you want to experience Freedom, That freedom comes with sacrifice and Responsibility. It also requires Leaders who are Responsible and must Answer to those they represent. (This was in my son’s 5th grade History Curriculum, for crying out loud!)
The United States has had a breakdown in the Moral and Ethical Responsibility of Journalists and those in the Media. They no longer report truth and fact. They report opinion based on the station’s Biased Agenda. It’s all carefully crafted to keep their sheep with their heads buried in the field or like right now with the Covid-19 Virus, they want everyone panicing and freaking out about every little thing instead of remaining calm and going about their business and actually being of service to each other. Instead of spreading constant Hate, fear, misinformation and Bullcrap, why not try helping your neighbor with something? I am going right now to help my neighbor, who is a young, disabled Veteran, with his vegetable garden. So get off the electronic garbage and get some fresh air, if you can’t go outside, open some windows, door, etc. Figure it out, use your Brain for something other than the Same old thing! Try thinking For Yourself! You may Love it!

Yes but joining the IWW, which is a solidarity union, would help in galvanizing others is solidarity actions. My thought was that they spent so much effort going to DC only to be dismissed by that monster that energy could be spent working against this man. We know coal is destroying their lungs, they know, it is also destroying our eco-systems too but of course they need work but coal is also on its way out. Why these miners need to be first hired in green jobs or, if too ill, adequate compensation and health care for the rest of their lives must be provided.

I have taken action with the IWW in solidarity pickets and actions where workers were not able to come out. Also, with other labor groups in NYS and MA. Many workers resort to joining with community groups who turn out in support such as the striking Walmart Workers.

As far as frightening the elites I agree they must be made afraid and the only non violent recourse we have is total non cooperation. Right now, this virus is leading this “non cooperation”. The test will be when workers are ordered back to work before it is safe to do so. The problem I have with taking up arms is that we are out gunned but also on moral grounds. But it may come to pass if people get desperate enough.

One final thought: Unlike the time of FDR, we have a true sociopath along with his sycophants who surround him daily, this time is much worse. I cannot see the tactics that desperate workers used in his time when they confronted FDR with the backing of three true LEFT parties and labor unions. We will need to see Trump, Inc. removed first then all the other cretins. A radicalization of our youth has to occur to save our eco-systems-our support system, to end war as an option to solving disputes. Our unions must rediscover their radical roots.



“Capitalists are Sociopaths.” That is a broad and completely ignorant statement to make. Did your parents teach you that or were you brainwashed somewhere? Since your ability to even EXIST at all, to have clothing on, to brush your teeth, take a shower, go to the doctor, basically do Anything at all, without being Monitored by some Creepy ass Government breathing down your neck (Figureatively🤨), is Thanks to Capitalism. I am able to stay home, take care of my child, my elderly parents and have My Own little business that pays the bills rather than having to go slave away at some worthless 8 to 6 job that I Hate that doesn’t offer any Benefits or Insurance! All because my husband very suddenly and unexpectedly died last year at only 47 years old. Since he wasn’t employed Full time, we were left with No home, no insurance and no money. So keep your ridiculous opinions about Capitalism, but I’m fairly certain that my small Organic Herbal Baking and Bath and Body products business doesn’t equate to me being a Sociopath. It means I work my A-- off to take care of myself and my family instead of expecting a handout or asking the government to take care of me. Why should they? I’m capable and most people are. Those that aren’t, deserve help. It’s the moral and ethical thing to do. So maybe try thinking before spouting off?

45’s peeps are beginning to open their eyes.

May they organize and collectively seek justice in a country severely lacking any real recourse.

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Well, let’s see. How do you run your business? Do you use electricity, water, sewage? Does the USPS delivery and pick up at your house? Do you and your products travel over roads and bridges, and are shipped through airports and sea ports? Did you educate yourself from kindergarten on, or did someone help you? Do you take medicine that doesn’t kill you? Do you eat food that you personally didn’t cultivate?
All of those things, and more, are socialist constructs. Your life, and the lives of your parents and your children would be impossible without them. Capitalism would have withered and died countless times without socialism saving it. So save us that Horatio Alger nonsense and realize this, your bootstraps were most likely made by someone else.


Lead by a corporate propagandized media and the oligarchs bidding wars for purchasing politicians.

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