9 Mines Are Idled Over "Black Lung"

Beckley Post-Herald
February 19, 1969

Employes [sic] of at least nine Raleigh and Wyoming county coal mines walked off the job Tuesday in support of "black lung" legislation.

The miners are expected to remain off work through Saturday when a special mass meeting will be called to discuss the situation.

A spokesman for miners at East Gulf said the walkout was staged in support of legislation pertaining to coal workers pneumoconiosis - "black lung" - now being considered by the 59th Legislature. The East Gulf mine employs 282 men.

Other mines closed by walkouts were Stotesbury, Slab Fork, McAlpin, Eccles, Riffe's Branch, Maben, Wyco and Itmann.

Dr. I. E. Buff of Charleston and Dr. D. L. Rasmussen of Beckley, among others, have advocated passage of measures by the legislature which would enhance safety precautions and control coal dust in West Virginia mines.

An East Gulf miner who wished to remain unidentified said, "We feel like we should support Dr. Buff with some action. The legislature is not bearing down. They're letting it cool off too much.


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