As I'm sure everyone knows, 29 coal miners were recently killed in a methane gas explosion in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine, in West Virginia. Massey's chairman and CEO, Don Blankenship, with his rapacious quest for profits and his complete disregard for safety, is directly responsible for their deaths.
In 2009, the company, Massey Energy, was fined a total of $382,000 for "serious" unrepentant violations for lacking ventilation and proper equipment plans as well as failing to utilize its safety plan properly. In the previous month, the authorities cited the mine for 57 safety infractions. The mine received two citations the day before the explosion and in the last five years has been cited for 1,342 safety violations. The CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, has received criticism for his apparent disregard of safety.
In 2009, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration cited Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine for 495 violations and proposed $911,802 in fines. On April 5, 2010, 29 miners were killed in a mine explosion at the Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine at Montcoal, West Virginia. Safety officials claimed that the mine had previous violations for not properly ventilating methane gas. In the previous year, federal inspectors had fined the company more than $382,000 for violations involving ventilation and equipment at the plant.
In 2005, Blankenship wrote a memo to employees telling them that maximizing coal production was more important than spending time constructing things like support beams or ventilation shafts: "If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal (i.e., build overcasts, do construction jobs, or whatever) you need to ignore them and run coal."
That Blankenship is guilty of criminal negligence is beyond dispute. The question, then, is if the miner's families were to kidnap Blankenship, bury him alive in a pit and leave him to die, should they be given a parade, or not? I would say yes.