February 19, 2006

OCTOBRE CIELO:

Coal company wants more Hispanics (ALLEN G. BREED, February 19, 2006, Chicago Sun Times)

Sidney Coal Co. President Charlie Bearse was expressing an opinion that many in these mountains secretly share. Problem was, he put that opinion in writing.

''It is common knowledge that the work ethic of the Eastern Kentucky worker has declined from where it once was,'' Bearse wrote to the state mining board. Bad attitudes and drug abuse, he argued, were affecting attendance ''and, ultimately, productivity.''

Bearse's appeal to the board: Relax an English-only policy in the mines so he could bring in Hispanic workers.

U.S. companies are constantly complaining they need migrant workers to do the low-paying, menial tasks Americans just won't. But at $18 an hour and up, plus benefits, these are some of Appalachia's best jobs.


If Tom Tancredo's son said he was moving to Butcher Holler instead of going to college he'd have been disowned.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2006 5:06 PM
Comments

offer english classes at the mines.

Posted by: toe at February 19, 2006 5:53 PM

Frankly, as a safety issue for the miners themselves, I would require a good command of English. No different than in the service. This is dangerous, dirty, hard work. The Mexicans would be great at it. Toe's right, teach them English or recruit English speakers.

Posted by: Genecis at February 20, 2006 1:18 PM
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