- Sep 5, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Slightly Liberal
Source: HereEarnie Williams, 65, was killed when a chunk of frozen coal slurry rocketed out of a clogged pipe, ricocheted and hit him in the head. The company, ICG, was faulted for not having procedures on how to unclog frozen pipes and was fined $440.
Are they serious??? What the hell incentive is a $440.00 fine going to provide a BILLIONAIRE to clean up his operations? Likely, it would be cheaper for him to pay the $440.00 everytime someone dies than to make the necessary changes to make the operations safe. Yes, that IS the same guy that owns the Sago mine, so apparantly the $440.00 which HAS YET TO BE PAID, didn't teach him a particularly powerful lesson.
The blatant corporate favoritism that has been the trademark of the current administration and majority in the congress has sickened me from day one, but this just takes the cake. They've crossed a line here, one that has now cost a number of American workers' their lives, all in the interest of saving a billionaire the pittance it would have cost to abide by safety regulations.
_The number of major fines over $10,000 has dropped by nearly 10 percent since 2001. The dollar amount of those penalties, when adjusted for inflation, has plummeted 43 percent to a median of $27,584.
_Less than half of the fines levied between 2001 and 2003 - about $3 million - have been paid.
_The budget and staff for the enforcement office also have declined, forcing the agency to make do with about 100 fewer coal mine enforcement personnel.
_In serious criminal cases, the number of guilty pleas and convictions fell 54.8 percent since 2001. In the first four years of the Bush administration, the federal government has averaged 3.5 criminal convictions a year; in the four years before that the average was 7.75 per year.
While I can't say these sort of changes in policy under the current leadership are particularly surprising, it doesn't make them any less outrageous. In my opinion, this is just further demonstration of how little they actually care about the American worker.