The unsafe nonunion mine in Utah claimed at least three more lives last night in yet another roof fall as tons of rock and coal collapsed on nine rescue worker miners. This mine may be perhaps the deepest in the state of Utah expanding to two to three miles underground, where it is at least a 30 minute truck ride to get outside the mine. The mine also extends more than 2,000 under the surface as well.
The owner of this mine continues to blame "earthquake" activity in the region for the continued collapses of this mine, however local geologists at the University Of Utah continue to note that all seismic activity appears to be highly localized to the mine area, and further believe that all seismic activity is more than 98% mining generated in the area, not part of some Earth fault line shift activity.
The fact of the matter is that this mining company has resisted unionizing so that it can tunnel far deeper into the Earth than most comparable mines anywhere in the U.S., and in addition practices a highly dangerous form of mining known as "retreat" mining in which parts of the mine are completely hollowed out, then those parts are collapsed to fill in areas due to the weakening of area due to the extreme deepness of the mining activity. Union membership by the miners would probably prevent these sort of dangerous and life-threatening sort of mining activity meant to enhance the profits for the mine, while endangering the lives of the miners needlessly.
In addition to remaining as a nonunion mine to avoid the far tighter safety standards that union membership would bring to the miners as well as better wages, many of the miners are of Mexican immigrant to the U.S. status who either became U.S. citizens or are in the process of becoming citizens. It often seems that such immigrants face some of the worst workplace dangers, especially when working in nonunion jobs.
The Governor of Utah will now demand that the rescue attempt for the 6 miners lost days ago will stop, as risking the lives of more miners in a search that is probably futile is not really morally ethical. At some point, you cannot risk more lives for what is an unlikely mission in a wholly unsafe situation.
Hopefully some good will come out of this Utah disaster and more mines in America will become unionized to save worker lives and also mine safety will improve thanks to tighter regulation by Congress as the Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission that regulates mining is now dominated by Bush Administration appointees from the mining industry who have profit concerns for the business side of this industry over the safety concerns of those of the miners themselves.
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!