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UMWA mourns passing of Rep. John Murtha

February 9, 2010
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United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

            “The entire membership of the UMWA, our families and all those who live and work in America’s coalfields are mourning the passing of a great friend of our nation’s coal miners, John Murtha. Our hearts and our prayers are with his family in their time of loss.


            “Throughout his 36 years of service to western Pennsylvanians, Rep. Murtha worked tirelessly on behalf of all his constituents, none more so than the tens of thousands of coal miners, retirees and their families who live in the district he represented.


“Because of Rep. Murtha, thousands of dislocated coal miners received skills training in other occupations through grants he was able to secure for the UMWA Career Centers, so they could continue supporting their families. Many more have received new miner training at the Career Centers so they could enter the coal mining workforce with the skills they needed to be safe, productive employees.


“Indeed, thousands of workers in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and elsewhere in the coalfields are today productive, taxpaying members of our society thanks to John Murtha and the work he did on their behalf in Congress. He truly provided a path to a better life for them and their families.

“That is, in the end, one of the primary functions of those we elect to represent us in our government. Rep. Murtha understood that, and we in the UMWA will be forever grateful for his service to our nation. He will be greatly missed.”


UMWA International Secretary-Treasurer Daniel J. Kane issued the following statement today:


             “I am extremely saddened by the passing of my friend and my Congressman, John Murtha. I offer my deepest condolences to his family.


“Rep. Murtha’s service to our nation and his constituents should serve as an inspiration to every American. His dedication to the coal miners in his district and throughout the nation was certainly an inspiration to me.


“At every turn, John Murtha stood with us. Whether it was fighting for better mine safety and health, working to save the Coal Act and health care for retired miners and widows, or seeking ways to end black lung, Rep. Murtha had the interests of those of us who worked in the mines at heart. We will never forget it.


“John Murtha’s legacy will be one of dedication and service, marked by tremendous achievements on behalf of those he represented in Congress. He will be missed more than we can imagine.”  


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