Employees should be more than ‘cog in the wheel’ for industrialists

By Clark Bailey

The Loyalist

Locally, this past week has been consumed with the layoff of numerous employees from Revelation/Blackjewel Coal company. To put ruined icing on a rotten cake, most all employees’ checks bounced after they were deposited or cashed. Many were on vacations and all, like the rest of us, had obligations to cover and bills to pay. As of the time I am writing, there are multiple, conflicting stories as to when (if ever) and how much (if any) will be paid back to the miners.

For decades, coal mining, has provided a good living to those who risk life, limb, and future health to provide a living and a legacy for their family. In those times, we have supported an industry and the companies who operate within that industry, at times without question. Most of us, even those of us who have never worked in the mines, are grateful for the economic impact coal mining has made not only to miners, but the ancillary benefits to those who own small businesses or work in support industry and the service industries who benefit from the cash flow coal mining creates locally.

All that support and gratitude has often been meet with indifference and cold shoulders from some companies. While people who make the financial gambles should obviously be able to benefit financially from the gains made by companies they own, those who toil to provide that to their employers should also be more than an afterthought or a mere cog in the wheel for industrialists. It seems far too often that is the case. Sure, there are exceptions. There are fair, honest, and genuinely good-hearted coal operators. I’ve heard many speak of such. The practices of Revelation/Blackjewel however, do not fall in that category.

Some may find it odd that a Republican, one who supports industry, commerce, the free markets, capitalism and all that, would be so sympathetic to labor. I would answer that, far too often it is the corporations, both global and national and the communist, that say you have to choose one or the other. You have to support industry wholly, completely, and without question, or you’re a communist.

While you’d be hard pressed to find someone as virulently anti-communist as myself, outside of 1950s Sen. Joe McCarthy, you also won’t find me shamelessly and sycophantically sucking up to corporate America. The narrative used to divide and box in is not only a false one, it is a harmful position that divides people of good will in both labor, management and ownership. It is so eagerly pushed by global corporations and Marxists alike that it’s almost like they’re on the same team.

The push is for corporate worship, the push to erase history, the drive to remove context, nuance, and complexity out of historical persons, and judge them by contemporary standards. A culture awash with rebellion, discontentment, disrespect, for institutions and persons.

We are at the point where we must recognize it. We are at the precipice of a cultural shift even more dramatic than what we are watching unfold. We are in the midst of a war, of cultural, social and political ramifications. One, if we are content to let it play out, without involving ourselves in the battles, will not like the results of the peace that will come about — a false peace born of true tyranny. You can lace up your boots or place them in closet. The choice is yours.