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Senator WILLIAMS. Yes.
Mr. KNIGHT. I am not dissident but I am sure unhappy.

Mr. SIEGEL. Have you discussed this with your State representatives or State senators because the problem is that Congress really cannot move into the area of workmen's comp right now. They did it just for coal miners for black lung and that was a big step forward.

Mr. Knight. This was a self-insured company.

Mr. SIEGEL. The trouble with compensation from Senator Schweiker's point of view is that it is a system at the State level. I think that the first place you should go with your grievances about it is to the people that are representing you in Harrisburg.

Mr. KNIGHT. I think sometimes we should file a complaint with the self-insured people.

Mr. SIEGEL. Yes.

Senator WILLIAMS. Of course it will help when Senator Schweiker gets in touch with the people in Harrisburg. Now that these men have come all the way here, we certainly want to recognize them.

Mr. SIEGEL. Yes. We just want to explain it is not a simple thing that we can just do automatically in Washington, it is something that we have to cooperate with the people that are really charged with the responsibility here in the State.

Senator WILLIAMS. Thank you very, very much. I will say, of course, that the workmen's compensation for injury accidents like this does fall under State law.

The one area that we had to bring into Federal law because it was not being met adequately in most of the States, although it was being met in part in Pennsylvania, was the lung disease. We had to bring that into Federal law, but this is, of course, as you know, State workmen's compensation. I think it is horrible that it goes for so many years that you are not taken care of.

Is that a cast or what?
Senator WILLIAMS. It is just a wrap.
Mr. Knight. It is horrible when you have your 85 picked up.
Senator Williams. Have you worked at all since ?
Mr. SIEGEL. What was the date of your injury?
Mr. MURRAY: December 5.
Mr. SIEGEL. What year?
Mr. MURRAY. 1967.
Senator WILLIAMS. Thank you very much.

Mr. DE VINCE. Gentlemen, the safety committee was supposed to be here and they asked me to sit in for them. First I want to give you this list of complaints.

Senator WILLIAMS. Without objection, the complaints will be printed into the hearing record at this point.


MINEWORKERS AT THE MAPLE CREEK MINE OF U.S. STEEL 1. The failure of the company to keep all places rockdusted to within 40' of the 2. The failure of the company to keep all mining cables hung or protected from water and muck.



3. The failure of the company to keep the working places as free from water as possible.

4. We have over a hundred pumps in our mine and up until the latest work stoppgae, no assigned pumpers.

5. The failure of the company to pick up all loose coal spillage along the haulages.

6. The failure of the company to maintain shelter holes free from obstruction.

7. The failure of mine management to have pumps properly housed according to law. 8. Allowing the company's own rules to be violated.


NICK DE VINCE Mr. DE VINCE. I just want to touch on something here.

About approximately 2 months ago under this new law the Federal people come in and they cited the company for six violations and one was toilets in the mine and drinking water.

Senator WILLIAMS. The law now requires drinking water?
Mr. DE VINCE. Yes, it does. Also cable has to be hung.

Senator WILLIAMS. In other words, the cables can't be dragging through?

Mr. DE VINCE. That is right, through the mud.

Mr. Britvich. They are being dragged. That is why we need these inspections.

Senator Williams. You still need a trailing cable.

Mr. Britvich. This is the cable here, this is to hang it up. Here is mud and water. You have 7,200 volts going through here.

Senator Williams. But I thought you still had one on the ground, the trailing cable.

Mr. Britvich. That is on the buggy. That reels it up, it has to be on the ground.

Senator Williams. You are talking about the hanging cables, you are talking about another cable. It is the power cable.

Mr. BRITVICH. Yes, for the miner.
Mr. DE VINCE. Up to the distribution box.

Senator Williams. There is supposed to be none on the ground at all?

Mr. DE VINCE. Not according to this new law, that is right.
Senator WILLIAMS. What is the effective time on that?

Mr. DE VINCE. We had six violations. Now the new law is in effect. Now what I want to know, they are not making any progress to correct this. Is there some kind of injunction on here that stays on it like toilets? Now they are not making any provisions whatsoever to put toilets in the mine. This is really a good health problem because being on pipe work you go through returns and all and it is really rough.

Now this drinking water, they are making no provisions of getting drinking water. They are making no provision concerning the hanging cable. Now if this is law, why isn't it enforced?

Again on this spot inspections
Senator WILLIAMS. That is why we are here, to hear this.

Mr. DE VINCE. This is the reason I bring this up. I thought this is the reason you were here and this is the reason that I bring these points up because it was up on the board they violated.

The Federal inspectors went into the section and they brought these violations out. Now I bring these violations to you and there was nothing done about it. I was wondering why there is not anything done about it.

Did they put an injunction against the law? Isn't the law what is actually written? What is the idea of not continuing with the law enforcement as they are written?

Senator WILLIAMS. Let me ask you this. You say there were how many violations posted?

Mr. DE VINCE. Six posted. This is U.S. Steel, Maple Creek mine.
Senator WILLIAMS. One of them was the toilets?
Mr. DE VINCE. Right.
Senator WILLIAMS. One was water?
Mr. DE VINCE. Drinking water.
Senator WILLIAMS. One was the cable?
Mr. DE VINCE. Cable being hung up, yes.
Senator WILLIAMS. When was this inspection?
Mr. DE VINCE. Approximately 2 months ago.
Senator WILLIAMS. And the notice went on the board ?
Mr. DE VINCE. Right.
Senator WILLIAMS. Was there a penalty on these?
Mr. DE VINCE. I would not know.
Mr. BRITVICH. I have never seen the penalty.

Senator WILLIAMs. Now you ask a good question and it is a question you should ask. Why, if the law provides that these things be taken care of, aren't they taken care of?. Very good question.

Now one area, and this is subject to amplification, I guess. In one area some operators thought they didn't have time to do what was required under the law and went into court saying they could not do this, and the court in a sense gave them an extension of time.

Now that particular case—and that was not around here, that was down in southern Virginia—has been expanded I think by the Bureau beyond the area where the case was brought into court and they are being slow on enforcement generally and in other places.

Is this the way you understand it?
Mr. SIEGEL. That is right.

Senator WILLIAMs. Now what we are trying to do is find out exactly what is happening on enforcement, and you are telling me here the law in western Pennsylvania is not being enforced.

Mr. DE VINCE. That is right.
Senator WILLIAMS. Like drinking water, toilets, hanging cable ?

Mr. DE VINCE. And inspection. This is what all the commotion is about. Here a judge tells us to go back to work. We have laws to abide by and he is telling us to go to work under these conditions. Now are we forced to go to work when the laws are not complied with, or are we supposed to forget about the law? Senator Williams. Now that question is a question for a judge. I am

a not a judge. We make the laws, the judge

Mr. DE VINCE. You make the laws but then you as an individual want them enforced.

Senator WILLIAMS. That is right, and we want to see them enforced. That is why our job is to come here to see what is not being enforced and then report our observations to where we work. We work in the Senate, and we report it to the Department and we make sure that they do what they are supposed to do to enforce it.

Now on the question of when it finally comes to the final individual situation of we are here as a mine and is this mine meeting the law, then people take it to court. This afternoon, right now, it is being decided

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down in Philadelphia whether this walkout was justified on the basis of the lack of inspections. That is the question before the court.

Mr. BRITVICH. The union was not backing us up-district 4, district 5 and the International. We were fortunate enough to have the man come out who took this up and supported us, but yet they called us a minority group, our union officials, because we are protesting these laws which are not being enforced.

Senator WILLIAMS. This is well known now, it has been fully reported in the newspapers and we know that. That is all being talked about in court down in Philadelphia right this minute.

Mr. BRITVICH. You see, this injunction, the reason why everything is so stalemated now, as Mr. Newman told me he is the head of inspection in Waynesburg. The injunction is not against the law, it is the Federal Register which is an interpretation of the law. That is the reason why we say their hands are tied. Now it is before three judges. Right near the school here where he was teaching us this class he said these three judges said they may have an answer to this injunction by September.

Mr. DE VINCE. Injunction. As far as it goes the injunction has nothing to do with the law. By God, when you have a law it must be enforced.

Mr. BRITVICH. And you must have an interpretation.

Mr DE VINCE. The interpretation is clear on the toilets; you have to have toilets. It is clear on the drinking water. It is clear on the cable.

Mr. FEDER. These are the inspection reports we got from the Bureau of Mines. Without objection, they will be inserted into the hearing record at this point.

(The reports referred to follow :)






March 30-31, 1970


James B. Shannon
Federal Coal Mine Inspector

Originating Office - Bureau of Mines 4800 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213 W, Dan Walker, Jr., District Manager

Coal Mine Safety District A

47-135 O -71 - 11

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