CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Nov 09, 1977
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(Studio) President Carter's signature of coal miners' safety bill noted. (Film shown.)
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(Pike Cnty., Kentucky) Report on background of safety bill. Mining disasters at Finley Coal Company mine in Hayden, Kentucky, in 1970 and at Scotia Coal Company mine in Oven Fork, Kentucky, in 1976 noted. (Films and photos shown.) 1969 mine safety law cited. New law, covering coal and other mineral miners, detailed. [Senator Harrison WILLIAMS - tells how law will eliminate conflict of interest within Interior Department, by putting safety issue in Department of Labor.] Attitude of mining industry that accidents are miners' fault and disagreement of miners cited. Miner Steve Ratliff's situation given as ex. of conflict; was fired from foreman's job at Standard Sign and Signal Company mine in Pike Cnty., Kentucky, where he and wife, Mary, continue to live. Ratliff's refusal to take crew into shaft designated unsafe by fed. inspectors noted. [RATLIFF - describes feelings with regard to matter.] Ratliff has gotten job back after legal battle. [RATLIFF - notes miners' reluctance to take action against mine management] [Mary RATLIFF - says man shouldn't have to work that way.] Government report's predictions with regard to incrd. use of coal and mine accidents noted.
REPORTER: Barry Serafin