Cue the Lee Greenwood…

I take a lot of shots at the Joe Six-Packs of the world (to use the parlance of our times) on this blog, but I want to make something clear. My shots at these folks aren’t because of who they are, it’s almost always because of what they do. It’s the flag-waving-until it isn’t convenient crowd that I can’t stand. The “Average Joe” that wants everything they can get, cheers every war and demands every handout while refusing to actually sacrifice a thing to get it. It’s the guy that owns a giant SUV and bitches about how he can’t afford to fuel it, then demands that the government “fix the problem,” while constantly complaining that the government can’t do anything right. It’s the guy that advocates fighting wars all around the world, then throws a fit when someone suggests he pony up a little tax money to actually PAY for it. It’s the guy that wants government to “stay out of my life” when it comes to taxes and guns, but wants government to “get involved” when it comes to gay rights and civil liberties. If that’s your definition of “Joe Six Pack,” theny yes… I’m not a fan.

However, growing up the product of a coal family, I’ve heard my fair share of REAL stories of what “Joe Six Pack” can do. How the power of many, the willingness to sacrifice and the idea that we can band together to make a statement more important than ourselves can change the world for the better… and forever. In this “me first” generation, we never get the pleasure of hearing about the power of the union, the strength of the average man and the capability of a united band of brothers taking action to shed light on injustice in this world. Today I saw an article that restored my faith in the belief that not only can it still happen, but it does happen.

Now, this won’t change the world. It won’t redefine policy or bring about revolution in the streets. But here’s what it will do… it will make us talk. We’re talking about it right now, in fact. It’s an example that the real “Joe Six Packs” of this nation (not the politicians that so artfully portray themselves as such) still have a voice. And sometimes, just sometimes, that voice can band together and be heard echoing from the deepest hills of West Virginia, across the country and around the world. Below I’m going to share with you an article take from a local WV news affiliate that has puffed out my chest, caused my heart to double in size and most importantly made me as proud of my home state, my family and my roots as I have been all day. So to those posturing, fake “Average Joes” that grace our television each night, I’d ask you “Do you have the balls to look 440 coal miners in the eyes and call yourself Joe Six Pack this morning?”

Blacksville #2 Mine Idle After 440 Workers Stay Home

UMWA Workers Took Memorial Day in Protest

Story by Courtney Dunn
Email | Bio | Other Stories by Courtney Dunn

BLACKSVILLE — Coal production at a mine in Monongalia County came to a halt today when every union miner stayed home, as part of a political protest.

It was an idle day Monday at the Blacksville #2 Mine.

More than 440 workers who are members of the United Mine Workers of America took what’s called a Memorial Day instead of going to work.

Union officials say they took the day to protest after a film crew from the National Rifle Assocation showed up at the Consol mine last week to interview union workers.

They say the crew tried to get union coal miners to speak out against Barak Obama.

The UMWA has endorsed the democratic presidential nominee.

“This was a surprise visit,” explained VP Local 1702, Safety Chairman Eric Greathouse, “and a lot of the miners felt this was a direct slap in the face of the union because they were trying to coerce our people into saying things against Barck Obama.”

“Consol doesn’t let anybody on their property – never,” said Safety Committee Member Mark Dorsey, “And for them to let the NRA come on the property and solicit our membership was totally uncalled for. We made our endorsement to our political process and we didn’t bother them and they shouldn’t be harassing our membership over this.”

The workers will return to work at 12:01 Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for Consol said the company is not issuing any comment on the day.

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