I need to say this up front. The article you’re reading now was written by someone who is a miner’s kid, someone who lost his father in a mining accident before I was born. My father was a miner’s kid from Kentucky, and he never really knew his parents either because they both died when my dad was very young.
The only thing I really know about my grandparents on my father’s side is something that an aunt said on a cassette tape that was recorded and sent to me by a cousin years ago before my aunt, my father’s only sibling, passed away — they were both very sick before they died. It wouldn’t surprise me if my grandfather Miller had black lung disease from working in the mines.
That’s the end of my “disclosure statement.” Now, allow me to talk a bit about Robert E. Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, an Ohio-based coal company, the largest privately owned coal company in the U.S. with subsidiaries spread across the country — including Utah.
Murray is accustomed to being in the news, and he jumped back into the spotlight last week, the day after the presidential election, when he followed through on a threat to let employees go if President Obama were re-elected. He even saw fit to say a lengthy prayer asking for forgiveness just before laying off 54 people at his subsidiary American Coal, with another 102 let go at Utah American Energy. He blamed a “war on coal” by Obama, although if you ask many energy analysts they’ll say that the coal-mining business is suffering because of competition from low-cost natural gas and rising production costs of coal.
The political sour grapes are hitting the fan, and it’s not helping the image of companies like Murray’s or Papa John’s Pizza — where founder and CEO John Schnatter said the cost to his business of the Affordable Care Act would likely result in the cost of a pizza to the customers going up 14 cents, and/or reducing work hours for employees.
The word “boycott” is being seen a lot more lately on the web now when it comes to any mention in comments about Papa John’s.
So, just how many more Robert E. Murrays are out there? How many more people are or will be losing their jobs or seeing their hours cut because there just aren’t quite enough millions being made?
Murray’s story is particularly sickening. The next time you see him whining on the television with some bogus story about the president’s re-election literally costing people their jobs, please take the words coming out of his mouth with a grain of salt.
This is, after all, the man whose face was plastered all over TV screens around the nation and the world when unsafe mining techniques — known as “retreat mining” when columns of earth are left to hold up a mountain — were practiced at Utah’s Crandall Canyon Mine, resulting in a collapse in August of 2007 that registered 3.9 on the Richter scale and claimed the lives of six miners and three rescue workers in the days that followed.
The Crandall Canyon Mine collapsed after numerous safety violations were found. The men who were killed and their families paid a heavy price, due in large part to safety regulations not being followed — all to make bigger bucks.
Robert Murray was front and center through it all, defending himself and his company, blaming the collapse on an earthquake (when the earthquake was actually the mountain collapsing), boasting about all the things he was doing personally to pull the miners out of the hole that came down on them to any camera that happened to be recording at the time, and coming across more like a clown in the process.
I remember it all very well, because I was seeing his mug on the national and local news on a daily basis, and I was seeing his bombastic temper.
It’s the same temper that he’s been showing before and after the 2012 election. But don’t take my word for it. See him for yourself, and while you’re at it travel back in time to see and hear the emotions coming from the families of the men who were killed at the Crandall Canyon Mine as they gave sworn testimony in front of Congress back in 2007.
I feel for them. I feel sorry for Robert E. Murray, and every other joker out there like him. How many jobs could he have personally saved if he’d seen fit to pump a bit less money into a failed political campaign?
- Romney donor announces post-election layoffs (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- After Obama Election Ohio Businessman Reads Prayer to Staff Then Lays Off 156 Employees (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Disgusting Oil Barron Robert E Murray-murray Energy Says a “Prayer” & Fires Employees (bonjupatten.wordpress.com)
- Murray Energy Fires 163 Workers, Citing a ‘War on Coal’ – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Bob Murray made his miners be a Romney backdrop. Now he’s laying them off for political points. (dailykos.com)
- Pink Slips And Prayers: Murray Energy Blames Obama Vote, Fires People (lezgetreal.com)
- After Obama reelection coal company CEO reads prayer to staff, announces layoffs (redalertpolitics.com)
- CEO fires over 150 employees after Obama’s re-election | Robert Murray (otpglobal.wordpress.com)
- Murray Energy CEO Reads Prayer to Staff After Obama Re-election and Lays Off 156 Workers (crooksandliars.com)