Carrying enlarged photographs of their lost loved ones, family members of three of the 29 miners killed in the 2010 explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine spent June 6-7 in Washington, D.C., pleading with lawmakers to take action to improve mine safety and to stiffen penalties for mining companies that knowingly, willingly, and recklessly place miners’ lives at risk.
AFSC is excited about our role and Tuesday’s announcement of the record federal settlement in the wake of Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, which killed 29 West Virginia coal miners in April 2010.
Read more about AFSC's response to the settlement.
On December 6, US Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that the federal government and Alpha Natural Resources have reached a settlement in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, including $210 million in fines and required safety improvements.
Thursday was the six-month anniversary of the nation’s new health care law. West Virginia supporters of the Affordable Care Act marked the day with comments about provisions of the law that are now in effect. Among the members of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care speaking out yesterday was Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service Committee.
The 29 miners killed in the April 5 methane explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine have been laid to rest, but signs of a community in deep mourning are still visible in the coal towns that line West Virginia’s Coal River Valley. Hand-scrawled messages in the windows of homes and businesses urge passers-by to “pray for our miners and their families,” as do billboards in front of churches with names like Amazing Grace and Healing Stream.
West Virginia Economic Justice works in partnership with a host of organizations and individuals, including the WV Council of Churches, the state AFL-CIO and member unions, Service Employees International Union, the WV Welfare Reform Coalition, WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence, WV Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; the Legislative Action Team for Children and Families, Direct Action Welfare Group, WV Interfaith Center on Public Policy, West Virginians United, WV Citizen Action Group, the media, policy makers, public agencies, educational institutions, the Center on
In the grip of the Great Depression, as 89 percent of Lincoln County residents struggled to survive on meager relief payments and 6,000 children in McDowell County could not go to school because they didn’t have clothing, West Virginia’s democratic governors resisted federal initiatives aimed at stimulating the economy.
In An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression, Jerry B. Thomas relates how Gov. Guy Kump spoke out against a national “spending orgy” as he withdrew rural road projects, reduced relief rolls and slashed payments for desperate families.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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