Mine Workers Report: Upper Big Branch ‘A Bomb Waiting to Go Off’

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Massey Energy = murder.

“There were many factors that led up to the April 5, 2010, explosion that killed 29 coal miners at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine, according to a new Mine Workers (UMWA) report on the disaster. But according to the report—”Industrial Homicide“—“there is only one source for all of them:


This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Miners strike. (photo restoration by me)

My grandad (the man on the left) started to work on bank (unloading etc.) when he was just 15 in 1956, heading down into the pits when he was 17. 
He eventually worked his way through, from offloading the coal to going putting with his pit pony, who was called pilot (the pony pictured above). The conditions were harsh damp and dangerous, like shot blasting for the coal. 

He left the pits in 1961 after 5 years in the pits before going into the forces for 7 years (royal artillery). 

By the time the miner strike started in 1984, he was at Tyneside printers. His father was also an ex pit man and both were disgraced. The entire village was in uproar and every one rallied to support the miners, working miners and ex miners alike. My grandad, Alan Moffitt, says “It was disgusting how miners were treat, especially considering the price of coal imports now.”
He and his father, David Joffre Moffitt (1918 - 1994) both rallied to support the miners, particularly being based in the north east of England. 

Both of these men went to show how there was indeed power in the union for working and retired men alike. 

Canada Patriarchic Skilled Ant Program List

Canadian immigration has for sometime relied heavily on entry of trained manpower into the domestic yean pool. Amid changing circumstances the aspirations and demands of rumshop industry and of another sort performing sectors have been witnessing drastic changes and transformations heart.e. labor availability is dwindling on one milepost and on other workforce is fast ageing develop besides growing needs for appropriately trained workers by individual sectors of economy. This has created a unhappy need in place of a renewed and revised immigration policy and Canadian government is almost on the verge of enacting new laws that would redefine Canada Federal Skilled Mineworker Program List and NOC.

It had been worldly-wise in the anticipatory policy that the system was not serving the true reason as for immigration and even younger granting impanelment in transit to selected people the manipulation sectors were facing a continued deficiency in availability pertaining to required and sufficiently trained proletariat. On other proletarian the earnings of people granted entry FSW and its branches were earning much less saving the comparatively less proficient local workers.

The reasons often sited for such a discrepancy were firm deeply among the adaptability factors of new entrants into the local activities pool. The employers were not in a position to deploy jobs to most regarding the people in consideration of basically 2 reasons i.e. new entrants
‚¬ Were lacking appropriate and sometimes even basic proficiency in English linguistic skills
‚¬ The experience and charter exposure that was accumulated was ground to be unsuitable for local conditions as the situation and prevailing conditions and requirements were absolutely different and posed challenges to a different smooth-textured altogether.

The old edition of Canada Gubernatorial Skilled Worker Program proved up be pointless in efficiently addressing these issues. The inadequacy was available and was decidedly linked to basic evaluation wise under the point assessment. The parameters that were being granted priority in the prevailing point system did not actually directly explore the possibility of early adaptation of new migrants into local conditions.

Access surge to these several drawbacks and shortfalls were identified in the fashionable ilk that actually added to woes and effected rapid settlement in respect to migrating spindle side. These factors were nevertheless indirectly linked upon aspirant’s profile without were found to be having a direct heading on migrant’s wit en route to establish themselves in the local expert consultant and social environment.

These aspects constituted their spouse’s linguistic and erudite levels. It was found that ability of spouse to earn could have a dramatic impact on a migrant’s ability to establish, so steps were taken to incorporate such statutes into the triangulation parameters that could depose selection pertinent to families which constituted as regards parishioners who deliver appropriates skills for facilitate an early adaptation and boost earning capacity of family.

Keeping these factors on preceding in contemplation of reviewed List Of Canada Federal Skilled Worker Program has become elementary and government has deep-engraven certain determining parameters that would cushion entranceway referring to selective people modestly.

Thatcher's death provokes celebrations by some

David Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, said her death was a “great day” for coal miners.

The ex-miner, who turned 70 today, spent all of his working life at Wearmouth Colliery.

He said: “It looks like one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

"There’s no sympathy from me for what she did to our community. She destroyed our community, our villages and our people.

"For the union this could not come soon enough and I’m pleased that I have outlived her.

"It’s a great day for all the miners, I imagine we will have a counter demonstration when they have her funeral.

"Our children have got no jobs and the community is full of problems. There’s no work and no money and it’s very sad the legacy she has left behind.

"She absolutely hated working people and I have got very bitter memories of what she did. She turned all the nation against us and the violence that was meted out on us was terrible.

"I would say to those people who want to mourn her that they’re lucky she did not treat them like she treated us.”

Colleagues of Arthur Scargill, the former leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, who clashed bitterly with Mrs Thatcher during the 1984/85 miners’ strike, said he was unlikely to make any comment.

Burnistoun creator Robert Florence tweeted: “I wish there was a Margaret Thatcher statue in Glasgow. I’d like to be seen on the news toppling it and hitting it with my shoes.”

Comic book writer and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar said: “Anybody sad about Thatcher today has clearly not read a newspaper since 1979.”

Reading about series of wildcat strikes amongst West Virginia mineworkers between 1964-70 which was led by rank-and-file union activists, including the Disabled Miners and Widows of Southern W. Virginia and the Black Lung Association. Approximately 40,000 miners walked the picket line even as corrupt top officials from the United Mineworkers of America actively tried to break the strike.

The striking mineworkers were protesting horrendous conditions in the mines which led to extremely high levels of injury and disability, as well as against the union officials who were sabotaging union democracy and gutting the disability pay-outs to injured mineworkers.

Black & white, men & women, abled and disabled, these thousands of mineworkers had united together in a struggle for justice, respect, and power on the job, defying the bosses, the courts, and their own corrupt union officials in the process.

Truly inspiring.




Ohhhh how I adore the Welsh; they are truly lovely people. Although, sometimes I have tremendous difficulties understanding what comes out of their mouths. In most cases I’m usually left speechless and as you’re all aware this doesn’t happen often. I kind of remember the miner’s strike during the early 80s, but I was fairly young at the time. I remember some pretty extraordinary things which took place at that time.


This movie is set during the miner’s strike of 1984-1985 Joe (George McKay) joins in at London Pride for the first time. He makes friends with a group of gay rights campaigners, which is led by very outspoken Mark (Ben Schnetzer). Mark raises money for the miners and union workers who are striking against Margaret Thatcher’s policies, and who are not receiving any income. After a successful campaign the group LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) is formed and led by Mark. The group decides to help a town affected by the strike, giving them financial aid raised. They land on a small southern Welsh town where they are met with homophobia from a small group of mindless individuals. With the union reluctant to have the group’s support adds extra pressures to group. There are many other personal obstacles in the way for each group member to deal with. But as you’ve all witnessed in history, you’ll know that once you have the heart and togetherness in a great team nothing can stop you from conquering your goals.


I’m very pleased this movie was created to tell the story of LGSM. Being able to watch passionate and very determined individuals fight for their rights was very uplifting. I perceived this movie as a magnificent history lesson being shown to me from the film director by Matthew Warchus. This film educates us and teaches us that all moments of history should never be forgotten.

This movie has an extraordinary mix of talent which may leave you transfixed as you watch their passionate performances. Bill Nighy, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, Ben Schnetzer, Imelda Staunton, Joseph Gilgun and George MacKay are all breathtaking throughout.

There is a pinch of humour with moments of seriousness here and there, but most importantly this movie simply shows the determination of two diverse groups joining together to fight social and political injustice. If you’re interested in politics and civil rights then this movie is for you.

Without a doubt, this will definitely be my number one recommendation of the week.

Overall, I gave this movie a heart-warming 9/10.

This movie is the inspirational film of 2014 that is a must see.

National Union of Mineworkers Will Oppose Layoffs in South Africa

“The NUM [National Union of Mineworkers] is opposed to any retrenchment irrespective of the numbers involved. The union is highly perturbed by Anglo’s decision to bypass the stakeholder meetings scheduled for next week and go ahead with such an announcement,” NUM general secretary Frans Baleni said in a statement on Saturday.

“The NUM will do everything within the framework of the law to oppose these retrenchments and is determined to even mobilise for strike to show its disapproval.”

Baleni said Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) decided to show its critical stakeholders “the middle finger” which undermined sound industrial relations and labour peace.

Lonmin gives striking workers wage offer deadline
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The world’s third-largest platinum producer Lonmin has given its striking South African mineworkers until May 8 to accept its latest wage offer, a company spokeswoman said on Friday. Lonmin employees are part of over 80,000 mineworkers who downed tools on January 23 in what has turned into one of the longest strikes in South Africa’s recent history. The workers affiliated to the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union are demanding a basic salary of 12,500 rand (860 euros, $1,200). Entry-level mine workers currently earn around 5,000 rand basic pay a month.
Source: AFP
Mineworkers threaten strike

The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has sternly cautioned the Labour Commission not to interfere in matters relating to the payment of their salaries.

Our position to deal directly with the Fair Wages and Salary…

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In the second half of the twentieth century, governments sought to weaken this unusual power that workers had acquired by an equally simple engineering project: switching from using coal to using oil and gas. As early as the 1940s, the architects of the Marshall Plan in Washington argued for subsidising the cost of importing oil to western Europe from the Middle East, in order to weaken the coal miners and defeat the left. In Britain, this attack on the energy system that had empowered the left culminated several decades later in the attempt by the Conservative government to destroy most of what remained of British coal mining in order to eliminate what the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, termed ‘the Enemy Within’ – the country’s most powerful labour union. The National Union of Mineworkers had led the battle that developed between organised labour and the state following the 1967 financial crisis, when the blocking of oil supplies had triggered the collapse of the pound, and in 1974 had defeated an attempt to use another crisis in energy supplies to weaken its power, bringing down the Conservative government. A decade later, the development of nuclear power stations and the oil and natural gas fields of the North Sea provided government planners with the means to end the country’s dependence on coal for generating electrical power. The Conservatives were able to reopen the war against the miners in 1984 with a new round of pit closures. The strike that followed was the longest in British history, and the most intense labour conflict since the general strike of 1926. The government failed to destroy the NUM, but six years later the domestic security agency, MI5, with help from American intelligence agencies, leaked to the press false allegations that the NUM leadership had misappropriated funds from Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. (Created in 1916 in response to a panic over German spies, MI5 had quickly turned its attention to those organising the wartime labour strikes mentioned in Chapter 3, and to the intellectuals on the left attempting to establish the ‘democratic control’ of empire.) The Libya allegation was an effective weapon with which to weaken the NUM by destroying its popular support, allowing the government to carry through its programme of putting an end to British coal mining – an industry that had employed over 2 million workers in 1982–83. By 2009, just five long-wall coal mines were left in operation
—  Timothy Mitchell - Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil
How Johan Cruyff nearly signed for Leicester City in 1981
Jock Wallace knew that an experienced player could save his young Leicester City side from the drop so spent a month negotiating a deal with Johan Cruyff. Unfortunately for Wallace, Cruyff signed for Levante and Leicester went down
By Jeff Livingstone

by Jeff Livingstone, Tuesday 12 January 2016

January 1981. The UK, like much of Europe, is in the midst of one of the coldest winters it has witnessed for many years. Among the stories making the headlines this month: Peter Sutcliffe, a lorry driver from Bradford, is arrested and accused of murdering 20-year-old university student Jacqueline Hill.

The British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, agrees to relent on a decision to close 23 working and profitable coalmines amid the threat of industrial action by the National Union of Mineworkers. The agreement is flimsy and ambiguous though, and the issue of pit closures will come to fore again soon. In the US, Ronald Reagan is sworn in as President, the former Hollywood actor replacing Jimmy Carter.

In the industrial heartlands of England, the good people of Leicester go on with their lives. A killer targeting West Yorkshire, but feared nationwide, is in police custody. A return to the three-day week has been averted, but Leicester City are still 22nd in the First Division and facing relegation.

In his office at Leicester City’s Filbert Street, John “Jock” Martin Bokas Wallace reclines into his leather chair and considers the league table. Jock Wallace, who has enjoyed nothing but success in his managerial career to date, including two treble-winning seasons in Scotland with Rangers, is not used to failure, and he is not keen to become acquainted with it now.

A home defeat in Leicester’s last First Division match against Leeds United was tough on his team, but a 3-1 reverse in an FA Cup replay at Exeter City was an embarrassment – a stain on his reputation. What is going wrong?

Jock Wallace at Leicester City. Photograph: Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock.

Wallace’s rigorous training methods have been in place at Leicester City for three years. Using powerful earth movers, the club indulged Wallace’s request to recreate the sand dunes of Gullane on the Ayrshire coast. Once referred to as “murder hill” by his Rangers players, the famously high dunes were a punishing focal point of their fitness regime and widely considered a contributing factor in their 1970s success.

Here at Leicester, Wallace has a pseudo-Gullane, which is manmade but effective. The players are well drilled and as fit as any in the division. It is not the fitness. It cannot be the fitness.

It is not the players’ diet either. Wallace is ahead of his time on this score. He has a young side; there are no beer-swilling, cigarette-smoking layabouts here. These are players physically equipped to deal with the increasing pace of the English top flight.

The balance is right too. This is a team that romped through the Second Division last season. A young team with an average age of 23, studded with talented players such as Jim Melrose, John O’Neill and Ian Wilson. A young team. A young team – maybe that’s the problem.

A young team needs a senior figure, a totem, a focal point. An experienced leader who can them away from the lower reaches of the First Division. Wallace can get his message across in the dressing room – if he asks these lads to jump they ask, “How high boss?” – but someone on the pitch, a guide, someone to inspire.

Jock Wallace is distracted by the telephone.

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South Africa: All but 3 rescued after collapse at gold mine

JOHANNESBURG - A building collapsed above a gold mine in South Africa on Friday, trapping dozens of people before they were rescued. After several hours, three people remained missing, a union spokesman said.

Manzini Zungu, spokesman for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, said the building collapse had trapped workers above ground, and dozens of miners below ground.

The incident occurred at the Makonjwaan Gold Mine in the town of Barberton in the eastern Mpumalanga province, Zungu said.

The three people who were still missing worked above ground and were trapped in the building, said Russel Meiring, spokesman for the private emergency service ER24. Paramedics estimate that 76 people were brought to surface, Meiring said. The rescued miners had no serious injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment, he said.

The cause of the collapse is believed to be a sinkhole, Meiring added.

This is the second accident in a South African mine in the past two weeks, Zungu said.