The recent West
disaster is a chilling
reminder of why
unions still matter.
The American Spark
West Virginia Shows Why Unions Still Matter
By Cliff Montgomery - Apr. 14th, 2010
The recent West Virginia mining disaster is a chilling reminder of why unions still matter.
"Massey Energy Co., the company which owns the mine, is no stranger to mining disasters," the pro-union
website Trial By Fire stated on April 7th.
"The company has been cited for hundreds of mine safety violations in recent years," continued the Trial By
Fire article, which added that last month, Massey was "fined three times for ventilation problems which may
have led to this disaster."
Trial By Fire is published by John Jacobsen, a labor activist who has "written and spoken on labor and anti-war
topics to audiences from Seattle to Portland to London," according to the website.
One must point out that neither the government nor the presumed "good will" of those running Massey Energy
has protected those people who perform the actual labor.
That much-needed protection can only come from the workers themselves.
Employers freely enjoy their unions--a corporation is nothing more than a union of shareholders. The
shareholders' combined activity is the bedrock to every corporation's power.
To believe that an individual may stand alone against a union of determined shareholders is not only naive, but
downright ridiculous. And government officials will never provide proper protections, as they are far too busy
taking bribes--ahem, we mean "political contributions"--from those corporations they claim to oversee.
Martin Luther King Jr. brilliantly put forth the essence of the matter in a speech delivered to the AFL-CIO on
December 11th, 1961:
"History is a great teacher. Now everyone knows that the labor movement did not diminish the strength of
the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market
for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor
forget these simple truths, but history remembers them."
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