Trapped Chilean Miners Denied Pay While Underground
posted by: Beth Buczynski
The 33 men trapped 2,258 feet below ground in a Chilean mine recently
found out that they would be receiving no pay from the company
responsible for their ordeal.
Union official Evelyn Olmos stated
that San Esteban, the company that operates the mine, has said it has
no money to pay their wages and absorb lawsuits, and is not even
participating in the rescue (Daily Mail).
Esteban has a reputation for ignoring safety standards and creating
thinly supported mining tunnels that some have referred to as "swiss
Family and friends of the Chilean miners
feared that all 33 men had perished when the mine collapsed on August
5th, 2010, trapping them inside. Seventeen days later, rescue workers
were astonished when they heard hammering coming from deep inside the
A new probe was sent into the mine and a note was sent back which read, "All 33 of us are fine in the shelter," according to BBC News.
Since then, small amounts of food have been delivered to the miners as
they settle in for what could be a three month wait until engineers can
clear a path to the chamber where they are.
For many, the early
joy of finding the miners still alive has been clouded by the mining
companies calloused refusal to compensate them for their suffering
during this tragedy.
The miners' union has called on the
government to pay the workers' wages starting in September, as well as
giving help to the roughly 100 other people at the mine who are now out
of work and 170 more who work elsewhere for San Esteban (Daily Mail).
representatives have responded by saying they are prohibited by labour
laws from assuming responsibility for the salaries. For now, the issue
will be left up to the mining company and the Chilean courts.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]