I stand with the people who are, um, standing on the railroad tracks in or near Harlan, Kentucky. Even though I was born and raised in Kentucky, I’ve never been to Harlan. I suspect I might have Big Blue fandom in common with these folks, but maybe not much else. My former home state voted for Trump and I’m decidedly not on the Trump train. I’m also one who thinks that it’s time for us as a country to move away from use of coal and fossil fuels. These guys and gals probably don’t agree with that sentiment. But, what’s going on in Harlan is right at the intersection of what Bernie and Elizabeth Warren are talking about with how big business gets a pass in this country.
The story seems to be that the workers did their thing for a month, brought up some coal and were paid. Except they weren’t. Their paychecks bounced and the company filed bankruptcy. The reason for the standoff is because some workers saw the company trying to ship out coal after they filed for bankruptcy. They said, well if we’re not getting paid, then for sure the company can’t just keep running with business as usual. I think they’re right to make this stand. They’re drawing attention to a basic inequity in the balance between big business and the workers that are employed by big business. It’s right up the alley for the message Sanders and Warren are trying to get out. I hope they’ll latch onto this issue.
I’d also like to see some of the Democratic candidates for Governor and Senate try to bring some resolution to this issue. You can be sure that Governor Bevin and Senator Moscow Mitch McConnell will do as little as they can get away with politically to help these workers.