Cecil Roberts [UMWA President] at National Worker Health and Safety Summit and Conference

“Don Blankenship Can Kiss My Ass!”

During the National Worker Safety & Health Conference and Summit lunch hour break UMWA President Cecil Roberts spoke to the workers, union leadership and OHS professionals and activists assembled about the recently released report, it’s findings concerning the Big Branch Mine explosion, and worker safety and health on the job. Mr. Roberts doesn’t mince words and laid the blame directly at Don Blankenship’s feet and the feet of the other Executive Officers and the members of the Board of Directors for Massey Energy.

I started to take video, but had not set my camera correctly and got a still shot instead. The National COSH had set up the event to be streamed live on Livestream.com. In theory this was a great idea. However in practice Mr. Robberts is not one to be standing still for very long. Once I realized this I switched to video. I was able to get 2 short clips [1, 2] which I hope you will enjoy while waiting the release of the footage captured by the National COSH.

Workers are lucky to have such leaders in these times. But it takes more than leaders to make the changes we need. The leaders need workers to join them. To do this we need to make sure workers understand what is going on, what’s at stake and what alternatives there are.

It’s high time workers banded together and go visit the Pharoh’s in their community and demand they do the right thing!
If there is an employer that is paying wages below the living standard and only employes part time work they need to change their ways.
If there is an employer that says it’s too expensive to keep the workers from getting injured, made ill or killed on the job they need to change their ways.
If there is an employer that requires workers who are ill to come to work to keep their job and thereby put other workers, customers and vendors at risk of becoming ill they need to change their ways.

It’s time to stand up, stand together and say “NO More!