CEO Don Blankenship Headed For Trouble?

If you want to read a column with some teeth in it try this one from Gael O’Brien’s web site, The Week in Ethics.

Let me quote from her closing paragraph:

“The miners have been buried, their families continue to mourn. Lawsuits have been filed. Investigations are ongoing. More safety violations pile up. And if the verdict is that safety was not Massey’s sufficient priority, will this prove to be the proverbial canary in the coal mine that can lead to real change?”

That’s writing.

James Pilant

I did a search on You tube to see if I could find a video of Gael O’Brien. I discovered an utterly overwhelming amount of Irish music but no video of her. In Ms. O’Brien’s honor, I chose this (Tell Me Ma) –

2 thoughts on “CEO Don Blankenship Headed For Trouble?

  1. George Tanner

    John L. Lewis, legendary leader of the United Mine Workers, once said something to the effect that ‘it is beneath the dignity of a man to burrow in the bowels of the earth’ as he fought for wages, health and safety. Coal miners haven’t always gotten dignity or those benefits from their labor and certainly the Upper Big Branch miners paid the ultimate price.

    I grew up with ‘Donnie’ Blankenship in Matewan and it bothers me that he has become the face of so much negativity tied to the coal business. But Massey is a tough bottom-line business, always has been since they came to the coalfields, and Don is a big part of their success, and so bears the brunt of their failures. He seems to relish the role of Coal King who takes on all the criticism that comes to the entire industry. In some ways, he reminds me of the old coal barons who saw themselves as benefactors to miners and communities and I suspect that like most of them, he can’t imagine why anyone questions his actions or point of view. Most of that type seem to see themselves as wealth-and-job creators, and they are but public opinion, the environment, or anyone else be damned. I liked Donnie better when we played baseball in school or a game of pick-up basketball on the concrete pad. He was a pretty good athlete back then but was always focused on school and a career. It has worked out well for him but not so for everyone.


    1. Apparently, there’s a lot I don’t know about you. I’ve never know anyone who grew up to be head of anything or in fact successful. I suspect there are a lot of advantages to growing in an achieving environment. Thanks for the comment. There was a lot there I didn’t know. jp

      Read James’ entries on Pilant’s Business Ethics Blog


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