USW's Western Canada director Stephen Hunt warns that the province should conduct a full inquiry into the safety standards and practices of these companies before allowing them to work here. He says Chinese-owned mining companies have a "horrific" record of coal mine disasters, including almost 100 reported Chinese coal mining deaths in the past month, that warrants a review.
"Chinese-owned coal mines have the worst safety record in the industry. Anyone who takes even a brief look at China's record of mine explosions, cave-ins, floods and other disasters is alarmed to learn that we're now inviting Chinese-owned companies to run mines in this province."
Almost 2,500 people were killed in coal-mining accidents last year, and Hunt says he's dismayed that the province considers these operations as a good model for safe underground mines.
A call has been placed to the Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman for comment.