As the nation continues to mourn the loss of the 29 miners that died last week in Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, President Obama and other federal officials launch an investigation. Others, like The Huffington Post, call for a criminal investigation against Massey’s CEO, Don Blankenship, for compromising the safety of his employees. Public Citizen goes even farther, calling for Massey’s board to fire Blankenship.
Blankenship’s Massey Energy is out of control. Since 2005, the Upper Big Branch Mine has been cited with more than 1,342 safety violations, including two the very day of the explosion. Massey has become a leader in the highly destructive practice of mountaintop-removal mining, sometimes in violation of the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. And Massey’s miners have been threatened with being fired if they join a union, according to the United Mineworkers of America.
If that weren’t bad enough, Blankenship has used his wealth to launch a $3 million campaign of reprehensible political ads smearing the reputation of a West Virginia Supreme Court justice while a $50 million judgment against Massey was before the court.
We cannot allow this blatant disregard for workers’ safety to continue. Sign the petition: Tell Massey’s board of directors to fire Don Blankenship at www.FireBlankenship.org. The first step is to remove Mr. Blankenship as Massey’s CEO. Doing so is a step forward for corporate accountability and worker safety.