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UMWA supports mine safety legislation introduced by Sen. Rockefeller

July 26, 2012
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[TRIANGLE, VA] United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“I thank Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) for his action today to introduce legislation to improve health and safety in America’s mines, the Robert C. Byrd Mine and Workplace Safety and Health Act of 2012.

“The UMWA welcomes legislation from any quarter that will provide additional protections for miners, and we are especially appreciative of Sen. Rockefeller’s long and tireless efforts in this regard.

“The improvements contained in this legislation will go a long way toward addressing many of the shortcomings of the law that allowed tragedies like Upper Big Branch to occur, and will help in fixing issues found at Upper Big Branch and other mines in the years since that disaster.

“Especially important to the health of miners is the language in this bill that will increase protections against respirable dust in the mines. Black lung is once again on the rise in the coalfields. Many thousands of miners have contracted this disease in recent years, and strong action must be taken quickly to address it.

“I urge the Senate to act quickly on this legislation. Other bills in both houses of Congress that would improve mine health and safety have languished, and miners are the ones who suffer for it. The time for action is now.”

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