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Murray assertion that UMWA is trying to organize Crandall Canyon mine “a lie,” UMWA’s Roberts says

date: 
August 16, 2007

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Phil Smith    703-208-7241
Dr. Robert Cohen     312-864-2901

Murray assertion that UMWA is trying to organize Crandall Canyon mine “a lie,” UMWA's Roberts says

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

“From almost the beginning of the tragedy that continues to unfold at the Crandall Canyon mine, Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray has blamed everyone but himself and his company for the situation at that mine. This includes several statements to the effect that the UMWA has an ongoing organizing effort at the Crandall Canyon mine, and that we are somehow responsible for any and all bad publicity he and his company have received regarding Murray's operation of that mine.

“I want to state this clearly for the record: The UMWA does not have an organizing campaign going on at the Crandall Canyon mine, nor have we had an organizing campaign there since Mr. Murray's company took over that mine. Any statement by Mr. Murray or anyone else to the contrary is a lie and designed to deflect attention away from the company's responsibilities in this tragedy.

“Further, the safety record of the operation and mining plans at the Crandall Canyon mine and other Murray operations speak for themselves. We do not need to raise that record publicly. Many independent mine safety experts and others–including some in the media–are quite capable of doing that for themselves and are doing so independently of the UMWA.

“The events at that mine in the last few hours have given us all renewed hope for the trapped miners. The UMWA joins with the families and the entire nation in sending our prayers to the miners and our hopes for a quick rescue of these brave men. That is our focus and should be the focus of all right now. The time for examining what happened at the Crandall Canyon mine, why it happened and what role the decisions made by Murray Energy management may have played in this disaster will come later.”

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