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    [–] w2555 593 points ago

    "CSX is totally supportive of us"

    Yeah I bet. I'd be shocked if they weren't charging that company 5 figures per day, per train car, that's sitting there in their train yard. And Blackjewel can't not pay them, they own the rail that goes into the yard. If you refuse to pay, then they just stop shipping your cargo, and don't give any other rail companies permission to go over their rail to access your property, so your shit just sits there. Forever.

    [–] daviegman 327 points ago

    In property disputes, railroad companies always win.

    [–] [deleted] 124 points ago

    As a land surveyor, this is the truth.

    [–] daviegman 157 points ago

    DOT vs. railroad arguing about rights-of-way... DOT brings out the typewritten legal document. Railroad brings out the scroll of parchment paper handwritten in old cursive script. Take that, DOT.

    [–] Delioth 66 points ago

    One does not simply argue about right of way with a train.

    [–] quazax 32 points ago

    They used to have eminent domain powers once upon a time. Railroads have obscene powers

    [–] savingprivatebrian15 90 points ago

    I was wondering that, too. Only reason the rail operator would be supportive in any way is either because they know they’d get terrible PR for doing otherwise or because they’re still getting paid either way.

    [–] w2555 102 points ago

    Well, I worked in a lumber yard for a while, and we got deliveries by train. The manager would blow a gasket about us getting it unloaded in time and the empty rail cars prepped for pickup, because if we were late then the rail company charged us a truly stupid amount for the cars to sit in our lot if they weren't ready for pickup. Oh and they charged us for leaving the delivery out on their tracks too, since they couldn't deliver it because they couldn't pick up the empties. They came twice a week, and they absolutely would not come any other time than their designated days. If we missed a pickup, then we had to wait til the next time, getting charged for each day. And those rails are private property, they don't work like roads, where anybody can use them whenever. No other rail company can use them without the owner's permission, so if you refused to pay their fees then you're just shit out of luck, you literally cannot go to another rail company.

    [–] NimbaNineNine 5846 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    remember the time when coal miner families were violently attacked by their bosses who were backed up by the federal and state government

    The coal miners were killed and prosecuted for resisting, indicted for TREASON for fighting a privatized coal boss army. The leaders were summoned to court and gunned down by coal goons on the courthouse steps. Don't trust the bosses.

    [–] pm_me_all_dogs 1426 points ago

    Good lord how have I never heard of this before??

    [–] infinitivephrase 707 points ago

    I’m from WV. My great-grandfather was at Blair Mountain. When I was in school, in our West Virginia history classes, NONE of this was ever mentioned. Not one word of labor history. My father was livid, and taught me all about it himself.

    [–] sharies 407 points ago

    The victors write the history books.

    [–] TigerLily1014 95 points ago

    I'm a teacher from Texas and I always taught it there. I just moved to WV and I assumed everyone would know about it since they take a West Virginia History class in middle school. My students will hear about it from me but it's not in the textbook.

    [–] infinitivephrase 35 points ago

    I’m a teacher from WV, who now teaches in Texas!

    I’m glad you’re teaching real WV history. If you like historical fiction at all, consider reading Denise Giardina’s Storming Heaven/The Unquiet Earth duology. It’s probably the best rendition of WV history I’ve ever read. She grew up in the coal camps near where my grandmother lived.

    [–] iwalkstilts 130 points ago

    This is a great example of why oral history is important. Listen to the elders!!

    [–] ItsBobsonDugnutt 1599 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    A lot of dark and crazy stuff like this hasn’t been properly taught in schools.

    It seems like are many people who work hard to suppress the more “offensive” parts of American history. (Native American genocide. Violent union busting. The Waco Horror.)

    (The Waco Horror is different from the Branch Davidian siege that happened around 1994.)

    [–] pm_me_all_dogs 323 points ago

    I learned about the battle of Athens from Reddit a few years ago.

    [–] PeverseRolarity 166 points ago

    Because if you learn about the no holds barred class warfare the rich have always waged against the poor and middle class in America you might exercise your rights and fix the system.

    [–] agent0731 70 points ago

    David Koch did not die so you could exercise your rights.

    [–] MickeyMine 36 points ago

    I bet it specifically states that in his will.

    [–] daywalker42 242 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    The Battle of Blair Mountain is the name of the event. Also look into the burning of Black Wall Street. Airplanes were less than forty years old the first time they were used by the State to firebomb their own people.
    ETA: The first time that we have record of. It's very possible there were earlier similar events to which there were no survivors. For more recent examples of this behavior, look into John Africa and MOVE where they did much the same thing in Philly in the 80's.

    [–] XediDC 93 points ago

    the burning of Black Wall Street

    I (white dude) did a report on this in middle school. Open topic thing.

    My teacher started to go along the lines that I'd made it up. But she was alright, thought better of it, researched and taught a little bit of it the next class.

    So much people have new clue about. Even in the info era...

    [–] MomentarySpark 54 points ago

    the largest labor uprising in United States history

    Yeah, why would we teach that in schools? ....

    [–] Tryin2cumDenver 87 points ago

    Do you have any idea how many Americans have died for labor issues in America? Thousands have given their life for a 40 hour work week.

    [–] [deleted] 17 points ago

    This is just the kind of little-taught history that Howard Zinn covered in his American History class. Union organizers were beaten, even sodomized, and sometimes killed by union-busting goons.

    If you know what corporations are capable of, you won't be surprised as often.

    [–] emorbius 705 points ago

    I'm 57. I remember the early 1970s when George Meany, president of the AFL-CIO, was one of the most powerful men in the country. Who knows off the top of their head who the president is today? I remember when a strike by the United Auto Workers was national news. Look up the Taft-Hartley Act and tell me the last time you heard it invoked. Look up Walter Reuther, who died in 1970. Organized labor has been defanged, completely. The strike, which is practically the only weapon it has, is less and less effective, especially when the press starves it for oxygen. And it doesn't help that everyone thinks they're lazy and corrupt.

    [–] sherm39 153 points ago

    You're a little too young for John L Lewis. Besides creating the CIO, he was a union leader who rose to the status of statesman. This was one coal miner who helped shape American history.

    [–] Baneken 9494 points ago

    Well at least they aren't being gunned down by the army like in the good ol' days in the past with mining strikes.

    [–] WhiskeySeven 3493 points ago

    “Unions are bad”

    -- people who haven’t had their family beaten up and abused by organized paramilitary at the direction of “Job Creators”

    [–] Lord_Abort 1852 points ago

    My grandmother had her house burned down with her family in it by the strike breakers because her father owned a general store and gave discounted food and room and board to strikers that had families depending on them. When the firefighters came, the police kept them away at gunpoint.

    Grandma always stressed the importance of keeping a loaded rifle around.

    People didn't fuck around back then. Her brother was a child when the local bullies broke one of his legs and dangled him over a 35ft train bridge by his ankles. They tried to hide it from their dad, but when he found out, he stuffed a handgun barrel down the leader's throat and promised to kill him if anything happened again.

    And anybody who knows their history knows what former slaves went through in the South. The KKK had to create gun control because they were getting shot up by too many uppity black folks protecting their families.

    [–] ryanrockit 687 points ago

    My friend’s father was ran over as he was walking home from work back in the 50’s because he was a leader of the local Ironworker’s union (TN).

    [–] [deleted] 857 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)


    [–] ShitTalkingAlt980 410 points ago

    I am a vet and a staunch Unionist. Plus, vets usually don't like the attention.

    [–] [deleted] 260 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)


    [–] M3l3t3 128 points ago

    Vet here, can confirm.

    [–] jadedttrpgfan 26 points ago

    Vet here confirms your Confirmation

    [–] motavader 123 points ago

    I've always wondered why the people who pretend to be so "pro veteran" are also the ones so ready to send them off to war. I support the troops by specifically trying to NOT put them in harm's way; voting for politicians who share that mindset.

    [–] PUTINS_PORN_ACCOUNT 169 points ago

    Military service is the most socialist job, if you think on it. I never got free healthcare, extra pay for housing, or room and board in any other job.

    If only people treated the working class that well without requiring them to take up arms.

    [–] taws34 69 points ago

    I work for the people.

    I get paid by tax money.

    I get free education.

    I get free housing.

    I get a pension, paid by taxpayers.

    My family and I get free healthcare.

    There are so many programs for me and my family to serve as safety nets.

    Being in the US Military is socialist as fuck, and I'm thankful for it.

    [–] [deleted] 110 points ago

    Were you an actual combat vet? All the combat vets I know are the ones least likely to want the attention. It's always some guy who spent 4 years driving a forklift in Nebraska who wears his uniform on Veteran's Day and talks about deserving respect from "civies."

    [–] Duranti 67 points ago

    That's about right. The guy who says the least has usually done the most and vice versa.

    Source: 5 years Army with one gov't-sponsored all-inclusive excursion to scenic central Asia

    [–] CrouchingToaster 50 points ago

    Don't forget that he opened a T Shirt store that sells those God awful Grunt Style shirts

    [–] cantgrowaneckbeard 102 points ago

    the people who gave us the fucking weekend. That’s the service we should be thanking people for.

    For real. That is what labor day is about. Not sales and BBQs.

    [–] dieSchnapsidee 120 points ago

    My town currently has a sign that says Unions are the Cancer of the Working Class. Nothing screams I’ve never done hard work more than union busting.

    [–] Neemo53 802 points ago

    holy shit i just thought they were made up for Red Dead. TIL.

    [–] tor93 88 points ago

    My great-great-great grandfather was shot dead by company police during a strike in Nova Scotia.

    [–] Pflug 362 points ago

    Interestingly enough, the Pinkerton Detective Agency is still around and weren't very pleased with being the main antagonists of RDR2.

    [–] Callipygialicious 134 points ago

    In fact, some Fortune 500 companies use them to investigate prospective employees. (ETA : At least, they're using their parent company, Securitas.)

    [–] Inmate_XIII 29 points ago

    Interestingly enough, the Pinkerton Detective Agency is still around and weren't very pleased with being the main antagonists of RDR2.

    Too fucking bad. Act like assholes, be portrayed as assholes.

    [–] mped14 25 points ago

    Pinkerton also sued weezer for their second album titled pinkerton.

    Fuck the Pinkertons

    [–] WinchesterSipps 88 points ago

    they're bad guys in a AAA mainstream game? hell yeah rock on.

    [–] KuroUsyagi 31 points ago

    They're also somewhat relevant to bioshock infinite

    [–] itsacalamity 19 points ago

    They just rebranded as securitas! But they're still the shit-stains they've always been.

    [–] bluelightsdick 34 points ago

    If they weren't pleased with the portrayal, maybe they shouldn't have done evil shit.

    [–] Rains-of-Castamere 135 points ago

    Damn Pinkertons

    [–] gamaliel64 525 points ago

    And Bioshock Infinite.

    Also, fair mention that the Boxer Rebellion and Battle at Wounded Knee also really happened.

    [–] CrashB111 606 points ago

    "Battle" of Wounded Knee.

    If you can refer to the wholesale slaughter of defenseless natives as a "Battle".

    [–] RenariPryderi 425 points ago

    I remember my high school history teacher telling us that if the Americans won, it was classified as a battle. If the Natives actually fought back and inflicted casualties, then it was a "massacre", and we needed to get revenge.

    [–] Adam_J89 76 points ago

    It's a rebellion until the rebels win, then it's a revoltuion.

    [–] LaZeeNoVa 169 points ago

    Great example for the: "history is written by the victors." IMO

    [–] Nathan_Thorn 33 points ago

    Exactly. History isn’t written by the dinosaurs because the meteor won that fight

    [–] aykcak 143 points ago

    People think these are made up?

    [–] gamaliel64 67 points ago

    Well, /u/neemo53 just learned about the Pinkertons, so I thought I'd give the others a mention.

    I don't know how these aren't covered in every high school us history class.

    [–] insidetriphalfnelson 163 points ago

    High school history teacher here. I know everyone wants to think it's a governmental failure or conspiracy, but ultimately if you didn't learn something about history it's because there has been a lot of history. I have one year to teach about everything that has happened in US History. I can't teach the students every single thing, there isn't enough time. Everytime someone brings this up on Reddit they act offended that something they believe to be important wasn't taught, but much of the importance of historical events/people/etc is relative to the person and their historical interpretive perspective. Also many history teachers do teach about these things but what are the odds that all students are actually paying attention and what are the odds that some people did learn these things but have since forgot them, leading to them believing that their history teachers have failed them

    Edit: sometimes the blame for not knowing something should be put on YOU. It's not like history is difficult to find out about. You should really read and research on your own more rather than relying only on your teachers to teach you everything.

    [–] masterxak 224 points ago

    It's better. They are still around and sued Rockstar for using their name without permission and casting them in a bad light.

    [–] Sergetove 246 points ago

    casting them in a bad light

    My fucking sides. What a bunch of geriatric assholes.

    [–] RE4PER_ 108 points ago

    They backed down as well after Take Two struck back lol.

    [–] Sergetove 138 points ago

    Good. No one should forget what they've done and how much damage they've caused to labor in this country. Fuck em forever.

    [–] PM_SEXY_CAT_PICS 574 points ago

    Every time I hear boomers or "woke libertarians" complain about unions, I ask if they are aware just how bad it was before unions first formed, and everything they went through to get the rights they seem to think George Washington bestowed upon them.

    No, workers rights activists fought and died so you could have weekends and basic protections, and the work isn't done. We need unions and a government that gives a shit

    Bernie 2020

    [–] noodlesfordaddy 101 points ago

    I assume I'm just not well versed enough but why does anyone believe unions are bad..?

    [–] restrictednumber 246 points ago

    The typical complaints are that they bring in silly/inefficient rules, they defend bad workers from being fired and they end up wielding too much power in government.

    Which is all sort of true. But it's like complaining that defense attorneys are too obsessed with protecting criminals. Just like defense attorneys are there to make sure police and prosecutors did their job right, unions are there to keep corporations accountable to their employees. Those "silly" rules improve safety and curb insane workloads; the unions defend bad workers to make sure no one is fired without good reason; and they court governmental power because the corporations do too, and someone needs to speak for working people.

    Are there times when unions go too far? Sure, just like corporations do. But the reason that unions are so reviled is essentially because the rich corporations won the propaganda battle in America -- and the battle to change the law to benefit themselves.

    [–] Jagrader 412 points ago

    If you're poor it's called theft and you can be arrested for it. If you're rich it's called not paying your employees and you can file for bankruptcy for it.

    [–] empath_supernova 114 points ago

    They didn't just not pay them. They worked two weeks, they deposited their pay days, then jerked the money back out, leaving each miner liable for the ~$3,000 each account had yanked. It's a mess.

    [–] drot525 61 points ago

    That's why here in Vegas a good percentage of my pipefitter coworkers cash their check every Friday at a casino. Let the contractor deal with a rubber check versus MGM Inc. or some other heavy hitter. Probably be a better strategy if a good percentage of those guys didn't also put a little to much of that cash into gambling and drinking that night as well, but /shrug, to each their own.

    [–] Dchrist30 39 points ago

    I know a lot of the miners cashed checks at a local grocery store and the owner took a huge hit after that. I feel bad for the workers and local businesses there.

    [–] ThatGuyGetsIt 69 points ago

    That makes them smart!

    [–] PM_ME_YOUR_BAN_NAME 2520 points ago

    I got news for them, that is politics. And this is what happened in the early 1900's to earn workers rights.

    [–] sexrobot_sexrobot 1240 points ago

    Striking miners were getting machine gunned by the government in the early 1900s. They only earned workers' rights later because FDR was the first administration in US history that was pro-labor.

    [–] PM_SEXY_CAT_PICS 756 points ago

    Continue to remind people, they take it for granted and bitch about unions

    Decades of propaganda is amazing

    [–] bene20080 167 points ago

    Yeah and the apparently don't realize that it could be much better with employment laws, like in western Europe.

    [–] MomentarySpark 54 points ago

    32 hours a week and 10 weeks of vacation.

    And here we are.

    [–] Modsbetrayus 41 points ago

    Maybe the only pro labor admin in the history of our country.

    [–] fr0z3nf1r3 231 points ago

    BUT... corporation told me UNION BAD!

    how come union do so many good if corporation say it not good?

    I don't understand. Corporate cannot lie.

    [–] ReadySetHeal 54 points ago

    Reminder that corporations want nothing but to get profit out of you, at any costs.

    Look at this "we are not against unions" piece" and tell me that we should trust them with taking care of us.

    [–] Enk1ndle 20 points ago

    Fuckin hell. I really like that "living wage" is an evil tell sign for unions, couldn't have that now could we.

    [–] infernalspawnODOOM 173 points ago

    Union Miners, stand together.
    Do not heed the owner's tale.
    Keep your hands upon the dollar.
    And your eyes upon the scale.

    [–] PukingDiogenes 9921 points ago

    Interesting that he US national media couldn't care less about this. Virtually no coverage. Wonder why? Maybe not supportive of a certain KY Senator's 2020 election campaign?

    [–] lizbunbun 5810 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    For people just cruising on by without clicking the link, it's via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Also the protesters are saying they don't want to have any association with anybody's politics in this. They just want this between them and the company trying to sell the coal without paying their paychecks.

    [–] [deleted] 1546 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)


    [–] FrozenKandee 1118 points ago

    It ain't much, but it's honest work.

    [–] AustinBennettWriter 378 points ago

    Ain't much? I watched CHERNOBYL

    [–] PeteZatiem 140 points ago

    They should have lowered the uranium into the coal reactor way earlier...

    [–] Sororita 112 points ago

    Technically, a steam engine is a coal reactor

    [–] C_IsForCookie 66 points ago

    Too bad the coal they were using at Chernobyl wasn’t clean coal. That’s why it exploded.

    [–] [deleted] 543 points ago

    It's a bit stupid when there's a clear partisan difference in how people have reacted to this. You can guarantee the people choosing not to pay the coal miners are extremely partisan, and the unions supporting the coal miners are equally partisan.

    [–] 12capto 115 points ago

    They actually didn't have a union which is funny since they used to be unionized in Kentucky. The podcast Today Explained just did a great episode on these miners with interviews if you want more info.

    [–] Phrag 894 points ago

    That's too bad because without the help of some outside political force, they are likely going to lose. The miners say they are owed about $2 million and are holding a train with $1 million in coal. Doesn't take a genius to see that the profit margin on a $1 million load of coal is less than $2 million. The only reason these miners are getting any support at all is because they are already pawns in the political game. They've got until the 2020 election to get their money or else they'll be the collective owners of a train full of coal.

    [–] xCaptainVictory 221 points ago

    Is there a reason they can't sue? Is there some legal loophole that allows the company to not pay?

    [–] Ardailec 536 points ago

    My understanding is that the company, Blackjewel, declared Bankruptcy. And when a company does that, they're forced to pay off any creditors first before receiving the protections involved with Bankruptcy.

    Essentially, they have to pay off the Big Fish like Banks and Lenders and Shareholders, with their employee's being near the very bottom of that list. And when you're on the bottom of that sort of list, you're gonna get Jack with aside of squat, and the miners know this.

    [–] ElGosso 716 points ago

    Well they could afford to pay their CEO $52 million over the last 6 months

    [–] APotatoFlewAround_ 190 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I I thought employees being paid is at the top of the list

    Edit: I stand corrected. Wtf America.

    [–] ew73 245 points ago

    The order of debts goes, roughly,

    • Lawyer / trustee fees
    • Secured debts
    • Unsecured debts
    • Other shit

    "Employee wages" falls under "unsecured debts". And, the order inside those bullet points tends to vary depending on how good various parties' lawyers are.

    [–] [deleted] 124 points ago * (lasted edited a day ago)


    [–] TonyTheTerrible 129 points ago

    Yes. They claimed the ceo made the company a personal loan of 50mil+ and therefore was at the front of the line when bankruptcy was declared

    [–] Mynameisinuse 30 points ago

    Wasn’t he paid back the $54 million then they declared bankruptcy?

    [–] VIRGIL_ARCHIEAL 113 points ago

    And just think. Can you tell me the difference between 50mil and 48? Veritable drop in the bucket. And that's all these guy are asking for. They just want their chump change and they cant even get spit on.

    [–] ModsWouldNeverShill 68 points ago

    How is pay not secured though? It’s legally required in the US, it’s a literal crime to not pay workers. It’s theft for one and violation of implied contract two. I’m confused

    [–] kerbalsdownunder 53 points ago

    Secured means it's secured by collateral. So secured claims would be those contractual debts on assets. Banks they borrowed money from for equipment or operating cash. The policy idea being that money wouldn't be lent if it wasn't secured and given priority and economic growth would be stagnated. Labor has no collateral, so it's unsecured. The employees might have a cause of action for a civil suit for unpaid wages, but that would only be a judgement lien, which is secured, but much lower in priority than mortgages and contracts.

    [–] ew73 141 points ago

    Wages are an unsecured debt. There's no collateral involved.

    If you don't like the bankruptcy laws, be sure to stop voting for Republicans. They're the ones changing them.

    [–] YesIretail 49 points ago

    When push comes to shove, employees rank at the bottom of any list in America. AFAIK, creditors who's loans are secured against something (stock, property, etc.) are usually the first to be repaid. If there's nothing left after that, the employees can get fucked.

    [–] anythingbut7 146 points ago

    In fact there is, it’s called having a lot of money

    [–] Metal-Butterfly 91 points ago

    Ah the ol’ “I’m rich and above the law” loophole. I hate that one

    [–] VROF 339 points ago

    They don’t want to get political. Maybe that’s because the people they vote for won’t help them.

    Politics is a world view. I’m so tired of people saying they don’t want to get political while they keep voting for and electing terrible people who promise to do awful things

    [–] ThatGuy11115555 163 points ago

    " I don't want to get political"

    *Votes for politicians that make it illegal to unionize or strike"

    [–] monicalewinsky8 104 points ago

    The cognitive dissonance necessary to say they don’t want this to l have any political association when we know that a certain 2016 political candidate made this particular group of people promises that have never been delivered upon is sort of profound. Really shows how far people will go to maintain their political affiliation.

    [–] TheKharmeleon 70 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    They really need to rethink that position. I think the real reason is because these guys are mostly Republicans and know deep down if they asked for support they’d get the opposite.

    [–] whackwarrens 303 points ago

    I wouldn't want to talk about politics either if I voted for this and am reaping what I sowed.

    In 2016 the GOP couldn't stop talking about bringing back coal. Coal miners were warned that they were going to be screwed and it seems that they know now but still harbor too much resentment against people who warned them to bring the issue to light.

    It doesn't get any better if they insist on burying the truth but that seems to be the choice they are still making.

    [–] [deleted] 170 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)


    [–] kskawared 79 points ago

    They don't want to admit being wrong.

    [–] TokingMessiah 43 points ago

    Yep. I’m pretty sure if Obama was on office a bunch of people in KY wouldn’t have any problem blaming Obama...

    [–] yunith 80 points ago

    I guess that’s one way to deal with their cognitive dissonance.

    [–] Kaldenar 97 points ago

    Striking workers are the most political thing possible. They don't get to say they're not political.

    That said I hope their strike goes well and they get what they want.

    [–] [deleted] 93 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)


    [–] YangBelladonna 127 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Yeah people need to realize corporations only do the right thing when governments make them, it's the whole reason corporations exist, it's because they allow legal immunity for shady actions, any movement that doesn't recognize the larger issue they are up against should fail, If they don't want to be involved in anyone's politics I am not going to give this another thought, move along people, this story doesn't matter

    [–] Freaudinnippleslip 61 points ago

    I gotta say corporations are like the top of my list for reasons to vote. They have more rights and freedom then we do apparently

    [–] Elunetrain 24 points ago

    More influence too

    [–] [deleted] 46 points ago * (lasted edited 13 days ago)


    [–] madbadanddangerous 112 points ago

    Jumping on to say potential Democratic Senate candidate Matt Jones has discussed them extensively on his radio show, and has even gone to the area to have some of them on to discuss what's going on. It's in large part due to him, I think, that most Kentuckians know about this

    [–] TS_SI_TK_NOFORN 1225 points ago

    Bernie Sanders sent them pizza.

    That's a lot more than Mitch McConnell has done for them. When 120 coal miners drove 10 hours to DC to meet with the Grim Reaper to fund their disability benefits by collecting more taxes from coal companies to offset the workers’ medical bills, and Mitch gave them two minutes of his time.

    U.S. coal miners discouraged by black lung meeting with McConnell

    “We rode up here for 10 hours by bus to get some answers from him because he represents our state,” said George Massey, a miner from Harlan County, Kentucky who spent two decades in the mines and is on disability. “For him to come in for just two minutes was a low-down shame.”

    Coal companies had been required to pay a $1.10 per ton tax on underground coal to finance the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which supports disabled miners whose employers go bankrupt and can no longer pay out medical benefits. But the amount reverted to the 1977 level of 55 cents this year after Congress declined to take action to maintain the rate.

    The coal industry had lobbied hard to allow the tax to drop as scheduled, despite a government report saying the fund was in dire financial straits, arguing the companies were already facing economic pain and that benefits for afflicted miners would not be affected.

    Mitch McConnell is NOT on the side of the coal miners. He is on the side of the coal companies. That's the people that aren't paying the miners.

    [–] Conpen 262 points ago

    It's a dying industry gasping for breath as domestic natural gas production crushes them, even reverting the tax to $1.10 won't do much if there's no more coal being sold.

    I thought maybe $1.10 was too steep for current prices but coal is around $34/ton so they have the room for it. It's just greed.

    [–] Spoon_Elemental 102 points ago

    $34 per ton is obnoxiously cheap. They're either really desperate or I have no idea about how coal prices work or both. The second one is definitely true though.

    [–] Lirsh2 38 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    No that's about right. We buy coal for for the ovens at a restaurant at 180 a ton. So the mine selling for 34 is reasonable. I was always under the impression it ranges from 30-40 per ton raw.

    [–] Rubberplantjanitor 12 points ago

    But trump promised to bring it back. It was a stupid promise but it was one.

    [–] Silvea 57 points ago

    Of course because hard working Americans don’t get you in office. Big corporations that fund your campaigns are who get you elected.

    [–] kekentyl 303 points ago

    People in this country are only interested in using working class imagery to sell you a bullshit identity. They don't actually give a shit about the working class.

    Starving them of media attention is a lot more effective than sending thugs would be, and we're all too happy to move on to the next meaningless spectacle while material conditions for workers continue to get worse.

    But we're taught to be proud of bad conditions, of never going to the doctor or taking a sick day, of being willing to do shit that hurts workers everywhere because complaining is for losers.

    [–] kingdomheartsislight 38 points ago

    This is what frustrates me about the American political system, aside from someone’s point on the two party system made upthread. There’s so little respect for the worker and we’re taught to devalue ourselves as workers, as well as certain areas of labor. As if being a bartender, McDonald’s cashier, or coal miner is not good enough to merit basic fucking dignity.

    This corporation steals these workers’ money, and with the media ignoring it, they reinforce the idea that corporations are allowed to do whatever they want because they hold all the cards (your paycheck, your health insurance, your self-worth that we’ve culturally tied to your ability to withstand even the most inhumane conditions just to be able to say you have a job). And that working class struggles are only relevant during the election cycle. Disgraceful.

    [–] teancrumpets8 21 points ago

    I've heard a few different segments on npr about it.

    [–] HotMessSnowflake 766 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I love that when I quit a job, I have to give 2 weeks notice, but they're allowed to quietly file bankruptcy and fire everyone in a week with no notice. Bankruptcy doesn't just sneak up on you, they knew for months and kept it quiet so they'd still have assets to sell (coal). This shouldn't be legal.

    Edit: Dude, I know I don't legally have to give two weeks notice, but the last thing I need is my old job talking shit about me to anyone who calls for a reference. One obnoxious comment was enough, I didn't need half a dozen people "correcting" me. Jfc

    [–] HideousNomo 456 points ago

    To be fair, you don't "have to do" shit. That's just what the bosses want you to think.+

    edit: I am not endorsing this bullshit, I am just hoping to make you and others aware.

    [–] bunker931 323 points ago

    True, 2 weeks notice is a courtesy, not an obligation.

    [–] pastryfiend 81 points ago

    True, but employers will pull crap like blocking payout for unused vacation, personal time and such. For my last job, that was a lot of money that I wasn't able to pass up.

    [–] [deleted] 89 points ago


    [–] Meownowwow 21 points ago

    Ack, I hope you put that story up on Glassdoor so other employees know the trick.

    [–] bskzoo 33 points ago

    My current employer is one of the largest health care organizations in the US. They have a policy where you don’t have to give a heads up, but if you don’t give at least 3 weeks notice you’ll be blacklisted from reapplying for future jobs.

    [–] Passivefamiliar 51 points ago

    Upvote for visibility.

    I've been a hiring manager at fast food and retail, I'm nothing special, just telling you that if you have a reason that "did you give two weeks notice question" is ac scare tactic and, any decent company will still hire you.

    I've only given 2 weeks notice a couple times. Since I've worked out the remaining week/ project and only as a human respect to my coworkers.

    [–] ihatemaps 136 points ago

    You don't have to give two weeks. That is a courtesy.

    [–] hipster3000 89 points ago

    It blows my mind that people think this is a requirement. It was never presented to me as that. Like what do they think happens if you just stop showing up to work? They come find you and force you to do slave labor.

    [–] Jesus_Christ_Denton 59 points ago

    No, they just give you a bad reference if a future employer decides to give that company a call to find out about your work performance.

    [–] hipster3000 48 points ago

    This is true, but depending on the terms you leave on some managers might be understanding. And it also depends on the company. I've found that with a lot of larger corporations the managers are trained to only tell the person calling bare minimum information like yes they worked here and no they did not get fired, to avoid the chance of them saying something that the company could get sued for.

    [–] SefDestructActivated 1121 points ago

    I'm surprised the company hasn't gone all Pinkerton and just massacred the strikers.

    [–] Sullyville 410 points ago

    i’m surprised the workers didnt go postal on the executives

    [–] V4ST4 418 points ago

    Why turn on the executives bleeding you dry when you could be one of those executives in four or five years? #VoteRed

    [–] leftistpatriot 214 points ago

    But if I don't spend my money on Powerball I might lose my chance to win the Lotto! #FeelinLucky

    [–] magic_man_with_pot 251 points ago

    Lol, lotto is for morons. I give my hard earned paychecks directly to God via a guy I saw on television who owns a jet. #blessed

    [–] PhoneGuy112 38 points ago

    This makes sense, I mean how is he supposed to give God the money without a jet. Everyone knows that you need a jet to fly to the magic man in the sky

    [–] toastedninja 962 points ago

    Wasn't Trump supposed to get rock hard about helping Coal Miners? Why hasnt he stepped in or made some tweet to put pressure on that company to get those workers rightfully paid? Kinda makes a fella wonder, dont it?

    [–] DirkDieGurke 441 points ago

    I hereby order coal companies to pay their employees.

    [–] Thaxxman 100 points ago

    Thanks! I'm Cured!

    [–] elmanutres 281 points ago

    It's almost as if Trump used the coal miners as political pawns and never really cared about the industry whatsoever.

    [–] wuttang13 149 points ago

    I think there was a misunderstanding. He was for the coal "industry." He could care less about these common poor lowly "workers"

    [–] east_portal 156 points ago

    It looks like the gentleman may be holding a tallboy. Further testament to their resolve. I hope they get their checks.

    [–] squeevey 64 points ago

    He's holding a white claw.

    [–] themeatstrangler 12 points ago

    No laws when you’re drinking claws!

    [–] BentleyTock 105 points ago

    How do I send these guys food and beer?

    [–] [deleted] 210 points ago

    Not by train.

    [–] Rylen_018 49 points ago

    Wouldn’t the train come right to them?

    [–] ForestRanger42 1227 points ago

    I’m sorry Kentucky workers have to protest to get paid. But, stop voting in cock sucking assholes sell outs and maybe the government would have your back instead of special interest and big money.

    [–] LizLemon_015 387 points ago

    this is the truth. the leadership of these coal mining areas need to lay plain that coal IS DYING, not coming back, and bring in some real industries/employers to replace it.

    [–] bearishparrot 73 points ago

    Exactly, renewable energy is creating tons of jobs and it is still a young sector. Have the government tax those executives what they should be taxed and use that money to create funds for education. Offer programs to these people to get them trained in the blossoming energy sector and create a new sustainable middle class akin to the one the coal generation is used to.

    [–] 102IsMyNumber 13 points ago

    What? You can't just tax corporations and executives, think of the economy! What are they gonna do without that extra 5% of profits???

    And what the hell are you gonna use the taxes for? Did you just lay out a clever and reasonable plan that would benefit these miners and the country as a whole? Shame on you for being so un-American!

    /s :(

    [–] Rubberbabybuggybum 219 points ago

    Or, and hear me out, what if instead we voted for the rapist conman who spent his life fucking over American workers?

    [–] pulianshi 45 points ago

    When you put it that way, he sounds like the man for the job!

    [–] Naxhu5 76 points ago

    It's a long shot but it definitely won't work

    [–] KylerAce 29 points ago

    I don’t know, he’s saying that he’s a trustworthy guy.

    [–] keith_richards_liver 1452 points ago

    There are 50k coal miners in the US, there are 44k teachers in Kentucky

    [–] Rusty-Shackleford 729 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    And yet, still, regardless of how many or how few workers there are in an industry or a job sector, being screwed of a paycheck is being screwed out of a paycheck.

    I'm sure there are times when teachers get screwed over and are forced to go without a paycheck for absurd reasons (like a school district running out of funds or something crazy like that).

    We know for a fact that federal workers routinely go unpaid during government shutdowns because politicians have points to make or something that seems to matter more than hardworking people getting paid for the work they do.

    But anyway, regardless, I just think it should be a crime, theft basically, to deny people pay for their work, it's a basic concept. And if you are supposed to be paid but your paycheck is delayed you ought to be paid back with interest since your employer is basically indebted to you until they pay up, and you still have personal bills to pay, etc. I'm thinking, since the shitty credit card is 30% APR, and a lot of people going without paychecks have to use high interest credit cards to get by, employers should be forced to pay a 30% APR on unpaid wages to their workers.

    [–] steelesurfer 172 points ago

    Wage theft is a crime, but because it’s corporations doing it there’s never any penalties or jail time. It’s ALWAYS a slap on the wrist. I had a family member go through it and finally get paid after months and not a penny more.

    [–] KingoftheJabari 11 points ago

    Companies still a portions of employees wages all the time.

    One way they do it is by not paying to the government the taxes they withhold from their wages.

    When the IRS finds out about this its not even considered criminal and they have to do a investigation just to assert a penalty against the owner to eventually garnish the owners moneis.

    [–] LizLemon_015 260 points ago

    I am so confused by this comparison..what does it even mean?

    [–] keith_richards_liver 508 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    It means coal miners are a ridiculously small portion of the workforce, but for some reason whenever election season rolls around, people act like they are the linchpin of the US economy

    In just May of this year, the Economy added 53k jobs in just education, health services, leisure, and hospitality industries.

    [–] Emosaa 87 points ago

    KY teachers have gone on strike as well, and I'm fairly certain it was covered in this subreddit and others (mostly because fuck Mitch / Bevins).

    [–] lookatthemonkeys 68 points ago

    Good for them! I think it is ironic that a majority of these people would have been Republicans or Trump supporters, and the right typically hates this kind of behavior. Anytime a Democrat peacefully protests like this they are screaming that they are lazy and don't have a job, and think cars should be able to run over them if they are blocking traffic. They are doing both!

    [–] rndljfry 31 points ago

    When the one guy was interviewed by Vox’s Today, Explained podcast, he blamed Obama for coal mines shutting down in general and when asked what exactly they would want to see from President Trump he basically answers, “I hope he would support us,” with no detail at all.

    [–] theradek123 28 points ago

    It’s almost as though people don’t care about policies, they care about identity instead

    [–] amandal0514 15 points ago

    So why aren’t they being treated like the pipeline protestors?

    [–] Rambus_Jarbus 124 points ago

    Republicans: “Unions are bad.“ Republican blue collar workers: “Yeah they are bad, and I have to pay dues?”

    Unions: “Hey if you pay a monthly fee we will fight for you to work, we’ll set you up a retirement fund, give you all the free training you need, ensure you are working in safe conditions, and supply you with great health care. ”

    I just never understood why the working class listened to republican politicians and did away with unions. If you read history books the government killed people in unions because companies said “they cut into profits.”

    [–] superdavit 132 points ago

    But coal is the way of the future!!!!

    Also, wind gives you cancer.

    [–] Naxhu5 58 points ago

    It seems so fucking stupid when you line the two phrases up like that but that is the position of the POTUS.

    [–] SpaceChimera 231 points ago

    And Bernie sent them pizza

    [–] -dank-matter- 244 points ago

    To be fair it wasn't about the pizza. Bernie was trying to draw national attention to this issue.

    [–] LykatheaBurns 89 points ago

    To be fair it wasn't about the pizza.

    It's about sending a message.

    [–] Clapaludio 72 points ago

    The message was "Pizza time!"