For Immediate Release Contact: Jeff Hauser 202-637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on
Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Settlement
December 6, 2011
On April 5, 2010, 29 miners died because of Massey’s criminal negligence. The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster happened due to corporate greed winning out over basic safety precautions. We cannot bring back the hardworking miners who died that day in the worst U.S. coal-mining disaster in nearly 40 years, but we can hold the guilty accountable and make sure we never see another disaster like it again.
We await jail time for the culpable. Today’s announcement of a $200 million global settlement of civil and criminal penalties against the company is a welcome beginning, but it is far from the end of the justice those 29 miners, and their families, deserve. The only way to make a real down payment on justice is to ensure the guilty serve appropriately stiff jail sentences.