Sandy Dorsey Coal Miner Article in the Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, PA) March 23rd, 1981

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Sandy Dorsey Coal Miner Article in the Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, PA) March 23rd, 1981 - 'The Money Is Good': A Woman Miner Reports Judy...
'The Money Is Good': A Woman Miner Reports Judy Simmons drove 27 miles to work, put on hard- toed shoes, her hard hat and lamp cap, a belt and rescuer, and descended an elevator to her job in a coal mine. Her equipment weighed between between 10 and 14 pounds and on a 5-foot-4, 115-pound woman she says "it got pretty heavy, but you get used to it." She'd run a buggy in the coal tunnel for another miner to load his coal into, then she'd run the buggy to the belt and dump the coal on the belt. Miss Simmons, 30, had worked in the coal mines for four years before she was laid off. She loved her job and got along well with most of the men and was treated with respect. Then came the layoffs in her mine, mostly because of environmental regulations that restrict the burning of high-sulfur coal. While she's hoping to be • called back to the Shoemaker, Mine at Benwood, W. Va., Miss Simmons is remodeling her home in Dillonvale, Ohio. "I've replaced all the water pipes myself, and now I'm putting paneling on the walls, "she says. Miss Simmons had been a kitchen supervisor in a restaurant in Cadiz when she heard a nearby mine was taking taking applications and she and three other women went down "as sort of a joke." "A month later, when Oak Park said we were hired, we were really surprised," she said. Eastern Ohio and the northern northern panhandle of West Virginia, which comprises Ditrict 6 of the United Mine Workers Union, says about 75 of its 11,000 miners are women. Figures of March of 1980 showed 3,000 women working in the mines nationwide. In a industry that always was considered a "man's job," women did not begin working in underground mines until 1973. At least two women miners have been killed. Marilyn McCukser was among four women who filed a sex discrimination suit to get a job as a coal miner. She was employed by the Rushton Coal Co. when she was killed in a roof fall at Osceola Mills, Pa., in October of 1979. In March of 1980, Eleanore Bowen, 25, Williamson, W. Va., was killed when she backed her tractor into a coal cutting machine in an underground mine at' the P.M. Charles Coal Co. No. 4 Mine near Rawl, W.^Va. Women used to be considered considered a jinx in the mine, "like walking in front of a black cat," said Frank Tharp of Short Creek, W. Va., an official official of UMW Local 1417. Coal companies had policies against women, he said, but along came the Equal Rights Amendment talk and women's rights, and women started applying for and getting jobs as coal miners. Tharp works with women miners, and "it tickled me to death that women were coming coming in," he said. "I have nothing against them. I've been told from company personnel personnel that women caught on to the machinery quicker than men. "For most women, using a 16 to 20 pound sledge most of the day can be quite hard, but they find a way to get the job done," he said. "They pull their own weight." Miss Simmons admits men didn't like the women at first and says some still don't like the women in the mines. "They feel the women are taking able-bodied men's jobs away," she said. "But the men have treated me like one of the fellows; treated me with respect." Sandy Dorsey of Martins Ferry saw her dream of working in the mines come true two years ago, but, then, too, she got laid off a few weeks ago. "I was in nurses training and really didn' t want it," said Mrs. Dorsey, the mother of a 24-year-old boy. "When 1 went to the employment office office 1 , 1 found out the mines were hiring. 1 knew I could make good money there." She said she had always wanted to work in the mines, but wanted to wait for other women to go in first and let the men get used to them being there. She went through a six- weeks program in a miner school where "I learned safety, safety, how to run equipment, use instruments, the same as you do underground." She was the only woman in the class of 26. "You got to be with the guys and learned how it would be to work with them," she said. "At first I thought I had made a mistake, had bitten off more than I could chew, but I wanted to prove myself," she said. The biggest problem she overcame in the mines was not letting what was said bother her. "You can't have a conscience conscience down there. If they want to say it, they're gonna say it. You learn to ignore their foul language and they'll soon show you respect," she said. "But you've got to earn that respect. You're on display down there." Although the money is good, there isn't much chance of advancement, she said. "You're making the same money the men are," she said. "But there's no advancement, unless you go with the company. If you're looking tor money, it's a good job, definitely an;experience." And By The Way: lawmakerHappyAbout 240 Pound Weight Loss BOSTON (UPI) — George Keverian is only half the man he used to be, and he's delighted. , A year ago, the majority leader of the Massachusetts House weighed in at 420 pounds. Now he weighs 180, and has happily spent "a small fortune" on a new wardrobe. "I feel fine," he said last week at his office in the Massachusetts Statehouse overlooking Boston Common. "Once you gain control of your life, you're much happier." Keverian dumped a thick manila folder onto the massive mahogany desk that takes up half his office. ''I've gotten letters from all around the country. Some say 'congratulations,' but most want to know how I did it. "Everyone thinks there's some secret involved with my diet. But all diets work. What makes them succeed or fail is the commitment of the individual. "I intend to answer all these letters," said the Democrat representative from Everett, a working class suburb north of Boston. "I feel like a beacon of hope for all those who are suffering the way I did. But I'm no hero. "I'm still afraid, because my problem isn't solved yet. Fm only halfway. The other half will take a lifetime." Keverian, 47, a former track star in high school and later at Harvard University, says his weight never hindered his political or social popularity. "But I was always embarrassed embarrassed at myself," he said. "Flying in commercial airliners was really embarrassing. embarrassing. My shoulder stuck out into the aisle and the stewardess could hardly get by. And I got so I wouldn't go to Boston Garden to see the Bruins or .Celtics because I couldn't fit into the seats." After reading a newspaper ad last April about a man who lost 100 pounds, he checked into into a weight loss clinic in suburban suburban Brookline and began a 300-calorie-a-day diet, which he kept up for 11 months. He also .received weekly psychological counseling counseling at the clinic, which "helped a lot." Today, Keverian eats a carefully balanced diet of about 1,800 calories a day and stays clear of red meat, bread, oils, salt and high-calorie foods. "Now I get up in the morning morning singing a song. I have more energy. I do everything I used to do, and more," he said. What advice does Keverian offer frustrated dieters unable to keep o'f f the pounds? "If you do cheat, don't give up. There is a whole new world out there that will open up for you. The most important reason, other than the obvious health reasons, is for your own self-image. "It's nice to have others think well of you, but what you think of yourself is what matters matters most," he said. "How you feel about yourself makes all the difference in the world." On this date in history: In 1775, Patrick Henry,, advocating arming Virginia in preparation for war with England, declared: "I know not what course others may take, but for me, give me liberty or give me death." H&R Block will accompany you to an IRS audit. DThie D False It's, TRl E »lien H&R Block preparrs \iiur mum. il .1 .Mimeiinr uhi> knim> all abiiui income uxe:. and ha* cirefullv rcvirwd vuur return prior in ihf audit inirrviru It's Mimnmi' uftii uill R" »uh >iiu at mi additional cost, not a* a kfal representative, hulloanswerallqueMiuns about him (our taxes were prepared WE'LL MAKE THE TAX LAWS WORK FOR VOU H&R BLOCK THE INCOME TAX PEOPLE 972 Pennsylvania Ave. Tyrone, Pa. ' 684-5145 Hours: Man. - Sal., 9 • 6

Clipped from Tyrone Daily Herald23 Mar 1981, MonPage 3

Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania)23 Mar 1981, MonPage 3
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  • Sandy Dorsey Coal Miner Article in the Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, PA) March 23rd, 1981

    videogametradein – 03 Dec 2016

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