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11/27/2004

Salute to the Cannelton Miners

I just wanted to take time to write a short entry about the striking Cannelton coal miners in Smithers, WV who were part of the now infamous Horizon Natural Resources Bankruptcy decision in August of 2004 - which left 5,000 union coal miners and retirees without jobs , slashed pensions, no health care benefits and voided contracts.

Along the road leading to the meeting, displaced UMWA Horizon miners man a picket shack directly across from the Cannelton mine's cleaning plant.

The Cannelton miners were given pink slips after the sale of Horizon's assests to Massey Energy's head honcho Don Blankenship.

Massey's decision destroyed the economy of Smithers and left an entire community wondering what their future was going to be like without good paying union jobs for its residents.

It was standing room only inside the Valley High School gym, where the important meeting was held.

Blankenship plans to reopen the mines non-union and replace the union miners with scab labor at much lower pay.

The Cannelton miners have created a strike line in Smithers and have been camped out there since October. I salute those guys out there fighting for what is rightfully theirs and just wanted to let them and their families know some of us appreciate what they are doing.

If more people had enough gumption to stand up for themselves this country would be a better place.

Solidarity Forever



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