That isn't what you originally said. Your statement: "Second, coal mining isn't included in any OSHA stats."BFD, that's a distinction without the slightest difference! MSHA keeps ALL the numbers, mines report to MSHA, not OSHA, in fact, MSHA and OSHA regularly get into chick-fights over whom is poaching on whose hunting preserve!. That OSHA gets "CC'ed" on the MSHA numbers doesn't mean dick if you're operating a mine.
Show me some real time data. You made the claim, you back it up.I knew that's where you got your number from! Today, the UMWA represents less than 15% of the miners working in the bituminous coal industry...and that number shrinks every year. Comforting to know they are as inaccurate as they are irrelevant in the current industry. Look up the numbers from the BCOA....they're far more accurate and far more current. My guess is that the UMWA figures represent the number of mines that they represent, not the industry as a whole. The largest, most productive mines are non-Union...the UMWA plays with the bottom-feeders.
Contrary to one of your statements, I found this.
"Typically, a longwall mine employs substantially more
workers than other types of underground mines. In 1993,
longwall mines employed an average of 102 workers per
shift.16 In contrast, room-and-pillar operations employed
an average of 21 workers per shift."
Source: Energy Information Administration, 1993 Form EIA-7A
Your statement: "FWIW, coal mining in the US is HIGHLY mechanized...there are VERY few men working underground...generally fewer than 26 men per shift in a 2+ million ton per year mine, and only about 1/4 of that number at the working-face".
This is getting boring, John. Get your facts straight. Long wall mining is for large mines with large reserves to offset the huge capital costs. Under those circumstances, it is the way to go. No argument on that issue from me, but that has nada to do with what I said, which was correct.