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Massey Deep Miner Speaks Out on Safety

Our piece this morning describes the reluctance of Massey Energy workers to criticize the company for fear of losing their jobs in a part of the country where there are criminally few employment alternatives. As a result, it’s next to impossible to find miners or their families willing to talk to reporters about Massey’s safety ethic, particularly in those communities closest to the Upper Big Branch project in Raleigh County, where 29 miners were killed this month in a deep mine blast.

But don’t tell that to Jordan Freeman. The West Virginia-based filmmaker and environmental activist recently conducted this interview with a Massey deep miner. And while the identity of the miner is concealed, his message is nonetheless pretty damning.

“Production was the name of the game,” he says. “At all costs we’ve got to get X amount of footage outside at the end of every shift — for what they would say to be, to where they could stay in the business, to keep the revenue rolling.

“For me, I felt like that lump of coal was important than a human being’s life.”

With more and more stories appearing like this, it’s getting tougher and tougher for Massey to lay a credible claim to their alleged commitment to safety.

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