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UMWA congratulates Joe Main on confirmation as MSHA head

October 22, 2009
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UMWA congratulates Joe Main on confirmation as MSHA head

    United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

    “We congratulate Joe Main on the U.S. Senate’s unanimous confirmation of him last night as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. We sincerely believe that Joe’s long experience as an advocate for miners’ health and safety on the job will bring a refreshing change to an agency that for too long has favored production over strong enforcement of workplace safety and health in America’s mines.

    “The UMWA will continue to be the primary advocate for miners’ health and safety. We understand that Joe has many challenges confronting him as he takes the helm, not least of which will be suspicion and confrontation from mine operators who are not used to vigorous enforcement of the law.

    “Nothing can replace careful attention to strong safety and health practices in the workplace by both miners and management every day on the job to ensure that miners’ lives and limbs are not put at risk. But with such strong and outspoken advocates of workplace health and safety as Joe Main, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and President Obama on the side of working miners, we believe that those operators who in the past have chosen to put increased production ahead of miners’ health and safety will no longer be allowed to get away with it.

    “That is what miners have a right to expect from government watchdog agencies like MSHA. We will be working to make sure that is what they get from MSHA.”

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