ACLC client Carlos Combs was featured in Hiroko Tabuchi’s May 2, 2017 article in the New York Times titled “Coal Jobs Prove Lucrative, but Not for Those in the Mines.” From the story:
Carlos Combs, 64, a third-generation coal worker in Cumberland, Ky., knows about the jobs offered at the mines these days. For over 30 years, Mr. Combs fixed continuous miners, gargantuan jagged-toothed machines, and dusty shuttle cars deep in the mines’ reaches. But when he lost his union job in the early 1990s, he found himself settling for shorter-term work at lower wages.
“These small outfits, if you didn’t produce, you were gone,” he said. “You couldn’t say nothing. You had to take what they gave you.”
Mr. Combs was laid off at least five more times before finally, in 2014, his doctor told him his body was giving out to black lung disease. He now lives with his wife on Social Security and pension payments.
“None of them are worth that,” he said of the coal executives. “They get that money on the backs of the men working here.”
Photo Credit: Harrison Hill for The New York Times
The print version of this article appeared on May 5, 2017, on Page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: Coal Is Gold, for the Boss.