June 26, 2016
Click here to watch a video outlining the proposed agreement between the UMWA and the National Bituminous Coal Operators Assocation.
Q & A:
Some members asked good questions and raised important points in the explanation meetings regarding the longer-term implications of the proposed agreement. The UMWA believes it’s important for the membership to have as much information about the state of the coal industry and what the long-term prospects are.
Q: I’m concerned that if we ratify this agreement, the industry will bounce back next year and the company will be making money but we will be locked into this agreement. What do you say to that?
A: Every industry observer – the government, financial analysts, coal industry executives and the UMWA’s own research experts – forecast continuing weakness for the coal industry over the next several years. There is a possibility that the steam coal market could recover somewhat beginning in 2019, but all experts agree that the level of U.S. coal production seen in the past will not be reached again.
See these links for more information:
Q: We need to wait until after the election and a President Trump is sworn in. He will bring the coal industry back.
A: Whoever the new president is, that person will not be sworn in until Jan. 20, 2017. The current contract expires on Jan. 1, 2017. We don’t believe Murray Energy will survive that long without filing for bankruptcy.
Q: I don’t see anything in this proposal that is for young miners. Can you point to anything?
A: Even with the changes it makes, this proposal represents the best terms and conditions of work anywhere in the coalfields, whether it's pay, benefits or terms of work. This contract will provide every worker, including younger workers, the ability to continue to provide for themselves and their families while enjoying the best health care benefits in the coalfields.
Q: This proposed contract flies in the face of what our forefathers fought and some died for. How can we vote for it?
A: Our UMWA forefathers fought and died for a lot of things: Union recognition, an end to the company town and company store system, an end to child labor, health and safety rights on the job, decent pay and benefits, pay for all hours worked, and retirement benefits. None of those things are at risk under this agreement.
June 22, 2016
On May 25, 2016, five U.S. Senators spoke during the Senate floor proceedings about the need to pass the Miners’ Protection Act, S. 1714, to save the health care and pensions for hundreds of thousands of UMWA retirees, widows and their families. Click here to watch a short video highlighting the speeches.
Contact your Senator today and tell them to support S. 1714, the Miners’ Protection Act. It is a matter of life and death for tens of thousands in the coal fields and across the country.
May 24, 2016
The United Mine Workers of Journal profiled local union 1717 in the last issue. These UMWA members work at the National Energy Technology Laboratory run by the Department of Energy. Click here to read about these inspiring men and women.
March 1, 2016
Click here to watch a video of International President Cecil Roberts testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance about the need to preserve miner's pensions and retirement health care benefits.
June 3, 2015
For active and retired UMWA members and their families who could not attend the UMWA's meeting on June 3, 2015 in Morgantown, WVa., below is a copy of President Roberts's power point presentation and speech.
Click here for a copy of President Roberts's prepared remarks.
Click here for a copy of the power point presentation.
Be sure to check back to umwa.org and UMWA Facebook page for updated information.
April 23, 2015
The Obama Administration is secretly negotiating a new foreign trade deal -- called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- with 13 other countries. The administration won't tell the American public what is in it, and they want "fast track" authority to slide it through Congress with no oversight, just a yes or no vote.
American workers have had lots of experience with foreign trade deals like the TPP -- all of it bad. Tens of millions of what used to be good-paying, union jobs in America are now in places like China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico and elsewhere. This deal will send even more of our jobs overseas.
Tell Congress to vote NO on Fast Track and NO on the TPP!
Call your member of the House of Representatives at: 855-712-8441
Call your U.S. Senators at: 855-790-8815
February 2, 2015
The new leadership in the West Virginia legislature has not wasted any time trying to turn back the clock on labor laws that have protected UMWA brothers and sisters for generations.
If you live in West Virginia, please contact your State Senator and tell him/her to oppose the so-called Right to Work bill, SB 337. Click here *linked* to get the phone number of the West Virginia State Senators.
Don’t know your State Senate district? Click here.
“West Virginia SB 337 should be called the ‘right to work for less’ bill,” said President Roberts. “That is what will happen to workers in West Virginia if it passes. It will weaken every union’s ability to represent members in the workplace. And it will mean that some workers will be able to avoid paying union dues while still getting the benefits of a union contract. It’s just another way for the bosses to divide workers.”
October 7, 2014
The rally and marches against the EPA in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Washington, D.C. are just the start of our efforts to oppose their proposed rule. We need our members on the ground in the coalfields taking action, writing letters and getting community support. Click here for more information about what you can do.
January 13, 2014
The Patriot VEBA website is up and active. Retirees, families and medical providers can now go to www.patriotveba.org to find out information about benefits and get contact information for answers to questions you many have.
United Mine Workers