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AntiLabor Union Right-To-Work Laws Are Killing America's Miners

The rough and unvarnished truth is that right-to-work laws that discourage labor union formation in a number of states are killing America's coal miners and other workers. Without the benefit of miners or other workers being able to form a labor union, they cannot complain about unsafe working conditions without fear of losing their job. A labor union gives the workers a place to safely make safety concerns known and helps to prevent accidents of all sorts. It also prevents senseless and entirely preventable deaths.

Former workers of the mine in Utah have already told CNN that workers lived in fear of losing their job if they complained about safety conditions. And one worker claimed that this company valued profits way above the safety of the workers, and work quotas were always expected.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming all have right-to-work laws on the books that endanger the lives of workers, leaving workers no safe place to report serious safety problems at their workplace without the fear of losing their job. It is usually only after a death or serious accident that state or federal authorites finally act with fines or other actions in nonunion businesses. In union businesses, accidents are often prevented by correcting the safety problem.

And it is not only nonunion mineworkers who have to live in fear of losing their jobs. Workers in businesses such as nursing homes have been known to lose their jobs when they reported incidents of theft or sexual abuse of patients by other staffers. Serious patient abuse incidents including physical violence often go unreported in nonunion nursing homes, and should be a serious concern to anyone who wants to place a beloved familiy member in such a nonunion business.

The fact of the matter is the labor union provides the worker a safe place to lodge safety complaints or other real concerns, and the union protects the jobs of the workers from wrongful termination. In addition union workers earn a far higher salary, health care and retirement benefits than comparable nonunion workers. But you cannot put a dollar value on providing workers a safe place to file safety complaints against unsafe mine conditions which can result in serious roof falls, cave-ins and deaths. Being a union member may mean the difference between life or death in some workplaces.

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (4)


it's not the legislation that is killing miners, paul. it's the actions, or inactions of companies in some cases. in other cases it's because they work in a dangerous business.

don't get me wrong. personally, i think that unions can be very benficial to those in dangerous professions.

but i have personal experience with unions in non-dangerous professions being nothing more than scams.

i worked at a company that gave it's employees better pay and benefits than the union shops. most of our installers were related or came into the job through friends. one of our best was the son of our CEO. our guys did NOT want to join a union.

we did much much better work than the union shops did. quicker, and with more responsiveness. but the unions were able to force businesses to only go with union shops in fear of retribution.

it eventual led to massive lay offs and lost business. even tho almost all of our former customers said they would rather have had us doing the work.

because of that, i will support right to work laws.

Ke_Future, my best friend who was also a Christian minister worked for a nonunion machine shop that Boeing outsourced parts work to save on salaries. The safety conditions were not very good in this noninion shop, and one day he was cut in half during a machine accident and killed in what was clearly a closed casket death. Such an accident would have been highly unlikely in a union shop due to much better safety conditions.

In addition in 2004, your average weekly union wages for all workplaces according to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics was $781 compared to $612 in nonunion workplaces or 28% higher pay. In addition there are is greater job security, safety conditions, health and retirement benefits.

It is surprising that anyone would choose to work for 28% less in wages, less benefits, no retirement and less workplace safety if given the choice. I operated a nonunion TV repair business and I can tell you that the safety conditions in my shop were nowhere near as good as any union business, and I even lost part of one finger in a workplace accident and accidently cut a vein another time on a neck of a broken picture tube. I can honestly tell you from my own experience as a manager that union workplaces are much cleaner, safer and higher quality overall.


Pets are provided so we can feel good by administering to their needs, like ensuring their own safety for them.


But we like our pet not so dedicated to the idea of external authority that he will demonstrate his fealty to it through acts of self destruction. You have more than one vein, Paul, to give for your ideology, but don't.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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