Lying to mine disaster investigators leads to conviction of ex-security chief
The former security chief at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine — the site of an April, 2010 explosion that killed 29 men — has been convicted of lying to investigators who were probing the disaster. It took federal jurors in Beckley, W. Va., about six hours to find the Massey Energy security official, Hughie Elbert Stover, guilty on a false statements charge as well as on a charge of obstruction stemming from his effort to destroy of thousands of security-related documents.
Some justice at Upper Big Branch
The safety director at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where 29 miners were killed last year, has been convicted of lying to federal investigators and ordering the destruction of records on hazardous conditions. The verdict should add needed momentum to federal and state investigations into the mine’s owner at the time, Massey Energy. At the heart of Hughie Stover’s conviction was his insistence that Massey had no policy of tipping off underground foremen when federal regulators arrived for surprise inspections. Mine guards testified that they were told to ignore federal law and signal below when inspectors came looking for life-threatening conditions.
Long Island Railroad workers scam $1 billion in disability benefits
This week, eleven people have been accused of defrauding the Long Island Railroad pension fund to the tune of $1 billion. I guess Long Island Rail Road workers don’t have the most dangerous job in the world after all. You could be forgiven for thinking that they do, though. After all, LIRR workers applied for occupational disability benefits at 12 times the rate of workers from other commuter railroads.
Trade groups say reporting rule for injuries, amputations is a job-killer
Trade groups are urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to abandon a proposed regulation that would require employers to report workplace injuries within eight hours and amputations within 24. While OSHA and employee unions say the rule will help make the workplace safer, the National Association of Manufacturers and other employer associations say the requirement would be a nuisance and a job-killer.
Is child labor behind your bananas, coffee, or toys?
Bananas in Ecuador, Nicaragua, Belize, and the Philippines; broccoli in Guatemala; carpets in India, Nepal, and Pakistan; cocoa in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon; coffee in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Kenya, Mexico, and Panama; cotton in Egypt, Brazil, China, Uzbekistan, and Turkey; electronics and toys in China, clothing in China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Argentina; rice in Brazil, India, and the Philippines; melons, onions, and tomatoes in Mexico What these products – along with diamonds, gold, sugarcane, shoes, rare earth and strategic metals – have in common is that they’re among the 130 different products made by child and forced labor in 71 countries listed in reports released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).
OSHA: Contractor in fatal accident had history of safety lapses
The contractor installing a roof on the new Chelsea Piers sports complex on the city’s East Side had a record of increasingly serious safety lapses prior to Tuesday’s accident, in which a worker plummeted more than 50 feet to his death. Javier Salinas, 36, of Danbury, was working without a harness during what police characterized as gusty wind conditions shortly before 1 p.m. when he fell to the hard surface below.
Stock up on worker-friendly treats this Halloween
The nation’s oldest consumer and worker advocacy organization is calling on parents stocking up on Halloween treats this weekend to make worker-friendly purchases. The National Consumers League, the Washington, DC-based consumer and worker’s rights organization, has announced an effort to fill trick-or-treaters’ bags with union-made candy.