My work experience has been a painful one but a good one. I started working at a union underground mines in January of 2008. I believe that mining it takes a special breed of people. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. I have worked on the longwall (plow system) since I have been there. I got hurt in April of 2008 when we were drilling and shooting in the face. We were trying to get through a geological fault because the plow won’t cut rock. While we were drilling the face fell out on me and covered me up. Now my job title there is the longwall operator I have been operating it since December of 2009. So I would say that I’m a very lucky young man to still be able to work. I would also be lucky because usually that operator’s job is given to older men.
When it comes to my families work experience my grandmother retired after 20 years from the same union mines I work at now. When she started she was a precision mason, not long after that she became a certified mechanic. So when we get together we have very interesting talks. She loves to talk about how the mines have changed from the past to the present. She thinks there’s no other place to work but at that mine. She gets mad if I talk about leaving and getting another job. She swears by the union, but me on the other hand it has its ups and downs. She is a great woman and I look up to her for doing what she did in the mines and out.
My dad worked 29 years underground. He would work 6 and 7 days a week. He was what I call a work junkie, he loved it. He liked the money that he earned by working long days and long weeks. He worked most of his time for Chris Cline and was a miner operator. As far I know he didn’t want me to follow in his footsteps by going underground but I know that he would be proud of me and what I have done for myself. He would just tell me to be careful and watch what you do.
I have never lived in or been around a coal camp. I have heard about people how...
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