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Cold Truth

75 pages1 hour


There is a body of men and women who buy and sell shares in companies and thereby earn the wherewithal to live. Some of them buy shares in mining companies. The pursuit of money blinds many of them to the things that other people are doing to keep that money keep coming in. Between the shareholders and the reality of a mining operation are the directors; people who feed on the ignorance of the shareholders and the need for the members of the workforce to survive. They make the decisions about what will or will not be done on the mine; the decisions that keep people safe or expose them to injury or death. Death is no respecter of persons; shareholders die, Company directors die and so, all too often, do the workers. The difference is that shareholders are in control of their environment as are directors; not one of them is really in any danger because of the circumstances in which they work. The employees at the bottom however must eat, so must work and largely do what they are told. If death’s door is opened around them they are, to all intents and purposes trapped. Between the workers and the senior people are the supervisors and lower level managers; their work is to achieve high production results, reduce costs and eliminate accidents. They are also the experts. They know what must be done and how it must be done. They do not have the authority to enforce most of their knowledge or to spend the money they should. Everything must be approved, must be controlled for the sake of a little more profit. Workers and countries are frequently exploited. Directors and boards are frequently axed if profits are not good. This story is about the men in the middle who fight to look after both workers and company; to make both ends satisfy conflicting needs. It is a true account of a series of events which led inevitably to disaster. It is set in Finland but could be about any number of mine sites all over the world. It is about the inevitability and patience of death, about love and friendship and about sincere efforts to provide the minimum safety needs of a mining operation. It is about the difficulties experienced by foreign workers on a remote location. But it is more especially about the game corporations play and the risks they are prepared to take with the lives and health of their employees to add more profit to the bottom line and keep the shareholders happy.

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