Assume, for a moment, that this side of the story is actually telling the truth:
There are no longer any unionized mines in Kentucky, but Harlan’s miners are currently continuing the region’s legacy of labor struggles against wealthy and powerful coal corporations: they are blocking the coal trains from leaving a mine that laid them off.
A collection of tents next to some rail tracks may not look like much compared to that rich legacy of labor struggle. A small group of families have occupied the site since 29 July, sitting on camp chairs, occasionally hosting live music and attracting sympathetic supporters from all over the US.
The small protest has endured for more than six weeks now, garnering nationwide attention – including a video of support from the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – and preventing trains carrying more than $1m worth of coal from being moved out of Harlan county until workers are compensated for the unpaid wages they’re owed since mining firm Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy.
The specific being that near 2,000 miners are owed up to $6,000 each. Sure, that’s $12 million, that’s real money.
Blackjewel referred comment to a page with bankruptcy hearing updates.
The first phase of the project is expected to cost $30m and open in mid to late 2020, while Blackjewel is liable for at least $500m in debt owed to creditors, unpaid taxes and unpaid wages, nearly $10m in payments owed to federal black lung benefits fund, and mine clean up costs that will be passed on to taxpayers if the mine properties aren’t resold.
It’s also not all that much in context.
OK, so this is assumptions but still. A bankruptcy judge is going to look pretty kindly on a carve out for paychecks already issued. So too should creditors – paying will almost certainly cost less than the legal arguing about it let alone whatever the costs of the protest.
But what sort of twat tries to bounce those paychecks already issued? I think, in English law, that would be breaching the going concern bit and would be a criminal (? maybe civil?) offence anyway.
Yes, I know, sure, capitalism red in tooth and claw. But why set yourself up to be an ogre in this manner?