Monday, November 23, 2015

Murray Energy CEO accused of intimidation tactics ordered to personally tell miners of their rights

Murray Energy Corp., the largest coal mining company in the U.S., has been fined for trying to silence whistleblowers by threatening job security at Appalachian mines. CEO Bob Murray has been ordered to personally deliver speeches at mines informing workers of their rights, Cole Stangler reports for International Business Times. Murray was accused of responding to miners' filing anonymous complaints with federal agencies by visiting five northern West Virginia mines and telling 3,500 workers during mandatory meetings that they should be grateful to have jobs and told them to imagine what it would be like not to have one.

Administrative law judge Maragret Miller, who fined Murray Energy Corp. $150,000, said in her ruling: “I find interference with the right to make anonymous complaints to be a very serious matter that undermines the safety of the mine. The negligence is high.”

Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent said the company plans to appeal, Stangler writes. Broadband, who blamed the conflict on the United Mine Workers of America union, told Stangler, “There is a long history of UMWA-represented hourly employees filing false safety complaints with the federal government to intimidate management. No one wants to see total employee safety more than Mr. Robert E. Murray. Indeed, Mr. Murray frequently tells our employees that ‘there is no pound of coal worth getting hurt over,’ and no topic is discussed until all safety issues are fully addressed. Any suggestion otherwise is a blatant lie.” (Read more) (Murray Energy map: Company-owned mines. There are also mines in Utah)

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