Recent Press

The fact that Bill Cole is owner of a company that has a history of workplace safety violations that drew more than $20,000 in fines -- including one that ultimately resulted in the amputation of a worker’s hand -- comes as no surprise to West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue.

“Bill Cole and his Republican leadership team have repeatedly pushed legislation to loosen safety regulations and put in place policies that make workplaces less safe,” President Perdue said. “Bill Cole has shown a consistent pattern of placing the profit of his corporate allies far above the safety of West Virginia workers, and unfortunately that pattern appears to also hold true for Tennessee workers.”

As the Charleston Gazette-Mail noted in an article today ( ), government records show that S&S Screw Machine Holding Co. LLC in Sparta, Tennessee, which Bill Cole co-owns, paid more than $20,000 in fines after being cited for workplace safety violations during the past five years.

One violation was related to a 2010 accident involving a machine with rotating saw blades that severely cut an employee’s hand, eventually resulting in amputation.

“Last year, 15 West Virginians died on the job,” Perdue said. “Workplace safety is a critically serious matter that should not be part of a political agenda.

“Yet over the course of the past two years, Cole and his legislative team’s top priorities were rolling back mine safety regulations; adopting a so-called ‘Right to Work’ law that has led to a higher number of workplace deaths in other states; revoking a Prevailing Wage that encouraged hiring employees with proper safety training; and passing laws to give unsafe employers legal protection.”

Details of some of S&S Screw Machine Holding Co.’s violations can be viewed here: