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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

76 Dead Miners 78 Rapped Knuckles

Asian Labour News:

Mining Disaster ChinaMy thanks to Stephen Foster over at Asian Labor News for this translation of a Chinese article on the punishments meted out over the deaths of 76 Miners.

The Henan Bureau of Coal Mine Security Supervision found that negligence was the cause of the deaths of 76 miners and the economic loss of 21 million Yuan in four coal mines in it's jurisdiction.

The lidicrous punishments ranges from misconduct marks to internal punishment by the Party and six people were removed from office.

In one coal mine where 16 died in an accident last year a total of three accidents had been noted for the same owner in three different mines . The severest punishment here? Removal from office.

76 dead men, untold widows and orphans, anguish and pain among family and friends, lives ruined. The greatest punishment? "Removal from office"

What sort of message does this type of result send to the owners and managers of the 200,000 odd mines in China? 200,000 mines that kill 10,000 per annum.

Does it say to owners? Make your mines safer or the full force of the law will be brought down on you including lengthy prison sentences.

No

Does it say to Managers? Report unsafe working conditions or face hefty penalties including possible custodial time.

No

Does it say to the civil servants and government agencies that are supposed to administer mine safety? Be responsible and accountable or your out of a job for life or worse.

No

What is it saying?

It is saying that life is cheap and if you are unlucky enough to have your mine collapse, or flood or blow up and men die then you better get ready for some sore knuckles because we are serious on Safety we the government of China, the government of the people.