* Would Alpha support legislation to increase sanctions against mine operators who repeatedly intimidate miners in violation of the anti-retaliation provisions in the Mine Act?
Also, the letter questioned Crutchfield about a sign posted at the Upper Big Branch Mine, now owned by Alpha, which encouraged workers not to join the United Mine Workers union.
"Should we assume that anti-union animus is also a component of Alpha's 'Running Right' business philosophy at its unrepresented mines?" the letter said. "This is puzzling since recent academic research shows that unionized mines now have lower fatality rates than non-union mines."
Miller and Woolsey had previously written to Crutchfield to question why Alpha was keeping among its staff several top Massey officials who had responsibilities overseeing the Upper Big Branch Mine.
In a June 20 letter, Crutchfield had confirmed that at least one of those former Massey executives, Chris Adkins, would not be joining Alpha.
Crutchfield said that two other Upper Big Branch officials, Chris Blanchard and Jason Whitehead, are employed by Alpha, but in "technical and support roles" that allow them no direct oversight of mining operations.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.