Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will tour the Federal No. 2 mine on Tuesday, Aug 4, one of a couple dozen mines operated by Patriot Coal. DOL’s press announcement said she’d be joined by officials from MSHA, the UMWA, WV Governor Joe Manchin and Congressman Alan B. Mollohan. The event includes the tour, examining a rescue chamber on the surface and meeting:
“with miners employed by Federal # 2 for a roundtable discussion.”
The Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward is reporting that journalists will not be allowed on the mine tour and can’t attend the meeting with miners, but the Secretary will be available for the media (i.e., “media availability”) in the afternoon. He writes:
“…I was told that media weren’t allowed in the meeting with miners because workers wouldn’t be comfortable talking freely in front of a bunch of reporters or TV cameras. OK, fine. But I was also told that Secretary Solis was going to allow Patriot Coal officials to sit in on that meeting … now, you gotta wonder — how much more comfortable are the workers going to be complaining about safety issues if their bosses are sitting there listening?”
Read Ward’s entire post “Labor Secretary coming to WV coal mine”.