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 Post subject: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:28 pm
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Location: Lakewood, Colorado
On Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM, carl orechovsky wrote:

The tour may not open on time this year due to cuts affecting the 3 mine workers. Our hours have been cut to 15 a week. Its impossible to get the mine ready, if it opens at all. The cuts may have something to du with the $3,000,000.00 in excess overtime at the county prison. The county cooked the books for 2013 and 2014 reported budgets.

Below and attached is an article sent to Coal Age, Coal News, and Coal People. More will be sent soon to the local and national news outlets.

Carl................

ANTHRACITE COAL BARONS OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
By Carl Orechovsky
The brutal coal barons of the 1920's are still oppressing coal mine workers in Lackawanna County, only now they are known as the "Lackawanna County Commissioners". Our three Commissioners, Corey O'Brien, Jim Wansacz, and Patrick O'Malley continue to oppose any pay increases for the three maintenance/tour guides who assist the foreman at the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour, 190 Slope, McDade Park, Scranton, Pa.
All three employees are paid only $8.85 hour, and listed as part time, seasonal, tour guides, receiving no overtime, holiday pay for working holidays while the park surface maintenance personnel get holidays off, and benefits, even though we worked mostly 40 hour weeks. Numerous attempts to have our status upgraded to full time maintenance/guides with the same pay and benefits as the parks surface maintenance workers have fallen on uncaring, deaf ears. And as of February 18, their hours were cut to 15 hours a week.
We are in the process of trying to join SEIU 668, the service union representing the other full time park surface maintenance workers and office secretaries, who are paid an average of $33,000.00 a year, for cutting grass and raking leaves, and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. The County is fighting the union.
The Anthracite coal mine tour takes about one hour in the Moffat Coal Co's 190 Slope mine, which was last worked in 1968. The visitors are taken down a 1500 foot long slope in a 28 person enclosed FMC Corp man-trip car, lowered by a 1972 Superior Lidgerwood Mundy Corp hoist, to the loading platform in the Clark vein of coal. The slope is 1500 foot long with the greatest pitch being 24 degrees, and at this pitch, 700 feet down, the car and cables make the first of two 45 degree right turns. As a tour guide we take the group on a walking tour through the gangways, chambers, rock tunnels, two other veins of coal, and an airlock, before returning to the Clark vein loading platform. Along the tour we educate the visitors in how the miners survived and worked below the surface.
Our additional duties include: cleaning the restrooms, vacuuming the carpets of the ticket/gift shop and hoist building, cutting grass in the summer, shoveling snow in the winter, and performing yearly maintenance down in the mine such as replacing 20 to 25 oak props, rib and boardwalk planks, track and electrical replacements, and on days when we get over 250 school students, Ill assist as a tour guide with the foreman taking over the hoist operation.
I am one of the three so called seasonal/part time workers at the Coal Mine Tour. My main job is the weekday hoist engineer, responsible for the hoist, cable, man-trip car's daily inspection and maintenance. Lowering the group to the Clark loading platform and safely raising the group back to the surface.
Last season I hoisted about 25,000of the 35,500 visitors that took the coal mine tour, and worked 41 forty-hour weeks out of our 45 week season. This is not part time, but full time work, 8 hour days. All this for an average pay of $16,000.00 a year.
You, as a coal miner, can help in two ways. First, add the coal mine tour to your vacation schedule this year. We are open seven days a week from April 2, to November 30. Second, voice your disapproval of the mine workers wage discrimination by calling Corey O'Brien about at 570-963-6800. Or, send a letter to the Lackawanna County Commissioners office, mail to: Lackawanna County Commissioners, 200 Adams Ave, 6th Floor, Scranton Pa. 18503, or e-mail to: wansaczj@lackawannacounty.org ,and omalleyp@lackawannacounty.org. Thanks for your help and hope to see you all this season.

Carl Orechovsky
1214 Lori Lane
Old Forge, Pa. 18518

info@oldforgecoalmine.com


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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:25 pm 
My god! It's the 21st century, and these guys are acting like they control the planet! This is just sad.


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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
Carl is a member of this forum........

great article Carl, that needs to be in the newspaper and on the news!

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:53 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Ringgold GA
I agree, front page stuff. As with so many things if it is not something that interests the town fathers then they could care less about the attraction and they people running it.

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 479
Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Nice job Carl!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:41 pm
Posts: 2927
Location: Hard coal region, PA
County is offering great a job for an Anty Mine Foreman rt now. Take care of maintenance for the mine, main hoist equipment, rail, tipple, grounds, fans (theres 2), escapeway and escapeway hoisting equipment, new extravagant ticket building [complete with old suckling hags who won't lift a finger past the register], old ticket building, and make sure 35,500 visitors get through the mine safely or else feel the wrath of the state and federal government with possible personal fines and even imprisonment if someone were to get injured for a whopping $32,000/year salary.


or, as carl mentioned, you could go cut grass in the park for $1000 more per year...

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 am
Posts: 179
Location: United States
Banks,

Did you say rail? :)

-Fred M. Cain


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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:53 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Ringgold GA
Yeah Fred,this is your big chance to get paid to play with rail! Actually that would be a cool job if the pay was better.

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:15 am 
That is it! I'm moving out there!


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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:09 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I feel sorry for anybody that works there. Pioneer Tunnel is better

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:41 pm
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
Yes, Fred, but it didn't give me a h*rd on.

Newt, whats the date on your last check from Pioneer?

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 am
Posts: 179
Location: United States
UGMiner Banks wrote:
Yes, Fred, but it didn't give me a h*rd on.


Banks,

Well, I don’t believe I’d get one either, but I might start foaming at the mouth a little bit!
Actually, in my own defense, my interest and passion for railways and rail related stuff really isn’t too much different from some of the people’s passion for mining on this forum.

I would like to say that throughout the course of history (Since at least 1700) there has been a very, very fine line between railways and mining. These two industries grew up and matured together, largely dependent upon each other.

The earliest and most primitive railways were developed in Britain. This goes back to at least to the early 1700’s but there might have even been some primitive railways before that in the 1600’s. Of course, that far back all railways were either animal or human powered since the steam locomotive wasn’t developed until the early 1800’s.

And why did the British develop railways and what did they use them for? In mines, of course! It was discovered very early that coal or ore could be moved much easier both underground and at the surface with rail cars. The earliest wheels and rails were made out of wood. In fact, the first rails had the flange on the rail instead of on the wheels. It took them about a hundred years to figure out that it worked much better to put the flange on the wheel instead. This was partly due to the fact that technology and metallurgy had to develop far enough so they could produce a wheel strong enough to take that kind of stress.

Sometime, probably in the late 1700s it was discovered that they could carry much heavier loads by using cast iron, flanged wheels and an iron strap fixed to the top of the wooden rail head. Later they dispensed with the wooden rails altogether and made all iron rails which were stronger still.
Steel was of course ideal, but that wasn’t perfected until later in the 1800s after the American Civil War, I think it was.

Believe it or not, there were a few small mines that tried to use wooden rails as an “on the cheap” approach even in the 20th century! I know a guy in Northern California who has wooden rails in his mine. He doesn’t use ‘em and has been tearing them out ‘cause they’re badly rotten. He even found a badly deteriorated, home-made looking ore car back in there that was left when the mine was abandoned. He reopened the mine a few years ago and has been prospecting and exploring for gold. Don’t know if he’s found any or not.

There are still quite a number of mines, even a few newer ones all over the world that use some form of rail haulage underground. And the mining industry as a whole remains a BIG customer of the North American freight railroads. Coal, ore, phosphates and a number of other mined products are shipped over long distances by rail.
If you have something at home, anything really, that was not grown by a farmer or a forester, chances are that it came from a mine or at least a well. Chances are too that the bulk products used to make the stuff were shipped over a railroad at some point.

So, the long, historic relationship between rails and mines continues. And it probably will continue as long as there are mines. And as long as we are able to maintain our modern civilization, there WILL be mines!

O.K. enough philosophy already! I know it! !
Regards,
Fred M. Cain


Last edited by fredmcain on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:58 am 
Fred, you might want to lower the text size. Like you said, rails and mining have pretty much gone hand in hand since the beginning of rail transport. With the ND oil-shale business, there is a shortage of tank cars.


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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Last year sweetheart. I start again soon though :D

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 Post subject: Re: Lacakwanna County Coal Mine Tour
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:21 am
Posts: 179
Location: United States
Miner Dave wrote:
Fred, you might want to lower the text size.


There! How's that? I only made it big because my eyes are very, very bad and getting worse all the time.

I thought maybe some other people might have the same trouble. People with good eyes can see both the big text and the small text, but people with bad eyes, .........


-Fred M. Cain


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