Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Echoes

I wrote in a previous post about how a recent mine collapse in West Virgina, USA, and the related deaths reverberate through time, connecting to all those that have come before. I mentioned, specifically, Chinese mine collapses, as this country seems to have a horrific track record as far as worker safety. News story after news story telling of the multiple deaths of men forced to risk their lives doing dirty, dangerous work for a meagre paycheque, while filling the bank accounts of business bureaucrats safe in office buildings - a common refrain in many industries around the world.

So imagine my Piscean synchronistic surprise and dismay when I read about a mine collapse in Yukon Territory on Sunday, April 25, that killed one man and injured a second. This was the second fatality at this particular mine: Yukon Zinc's Wolverine mine.

"Yukon" Zinc is a misnomer, I came to discover. This mine is owned by two Chinese companies: Jinduicheng Molybdenum Group Co. Ltd. and Northwest Nonferrous International Investment Company Ltd.

And here we have the real promise of "globalization" headed by the current corpo-governmental world regimes: a race to the absolute bottom as far as environmental, human rights and worker safety standards - not to mention wages. Now, countries with hideous records on this front are free to spread their inhumane, dangerous and ridiculous practises around the globe, all while fronting as national industries.

This mine, set up according to Chinese mining standards, was a crumbling, unstable tragedy waiting to happen - and now they've had two. How many more?

From the article:

"However, the rock mined at Wolverine is far from stable. Yukon Zinc has had to coat tunnels with mesh-strengthened concrete and fire five-metre-long spikes into the ceiling to stabilize its shafts. During a tour last May, a geologist pulled a hunk of rock from the wall. 'This is a bad sign,' she said, adding, 'And that’s some of our better rock.'"

This is nothing new, of course, but it's difficult to sit back and watch case after case of this exact "globalization" phenomenon coming to play. I've lived in the beautiful Yukon on two separate occasions and keep up with the news there, and the corruption going on up there is extreme.

All hail the global marketplace.

Please, Lord have mercy on the working man because the corporate suits benefitting from his work sure as hell won't.

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