NPR’s Howard Berkes and Benny Becker of Ohio Valley Resource invite us to listen to the voice of seven coal miners—all who have severe lung disease because of their work.
For years the coal industry has been sowing doubt about an air sampling device that is mandated in a regulation to address black lung disease. Last week a National Academies’ panel put to rest industry assertions about the accuracy of the device.
Coal miners are concerned that a program that assists individuals who are disabled by black lung disease is in debt. The problem will explode if Congress fails to act before the end of the year.
A fraction of coal miners who develop black lung disease will receive lung transplants. The treatment costs for this work-related disease should be borne by coal mine operators, but taxpayers through Medicare, are picking up the tab.
Don Blankenship’s Senate run is a heartbreaking ordeal for families of the Upper Big Branch mining disaster; California Supreme Court ruling will make it much harder to misclassify workers as independent contractors; farmworker families struggle with respiratory health problems; and workers around the world take to the streets for May Day.
A new law in Kentucky will make it even more difficult for coal miners with black lung disease to be reimbursed for their medical care costs and lost wages. Findings from radiologists–the specialists in interpreting xrays—will no longer be considered a relevant piece of evidence to support a coal miner’s case.
The CEO of an investment company with coal mine holdings has ludicrous ideas about worker safety. He thinks coal miners should rely on their natural instincts to be safe. He says emergency breathing equipment, rescue chambers, and proximity detectors are a waste of money.
NPR’s Howard Berkes reports today on more than 400 new cases of severe black lung disease in U.S. coal miners. CDC says it understates the problem–the cases are only from one region of coal country.
President Trump boasted yesterday at a photo op of his plans to cut the “red tape of regulations.” His regulatory agenda ignores his crush on coal miners by threatening current rules to prevent black lung disease.
U.S. Chemical Safety Board considers withdrawing retaliation protections for offshore oil workers; unions re-examine their role in the wake of sexual harassment revelations; America’s fastest-growing jobs are also among the lowest-paying jobs; and migrant women continue to face exploitation on the job.