Feb 13, 2006
At a time when 19 coal miners have died from disasters caused by unsafe conditions, we can see what truly matters to the federal government.
When 13 Alabama miners were killed in 2001, the government fined the mine operator only $435,000 – and a judge knocked that down to only $3,000!
On the other hand, when Pittston miners went on strike in 1989, their union, the UMWA, was fined more than 64 MILLION dollars.
Federal law limits fines for mining health and safety violations to $60,000 for each violation, with many fines being much lower than that. In contrast, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can levy fines of more than one million dollars for a single violation.
The government charged more – $550,000 – for Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” than it did when 13 miners died!